This past Sunday, I was just not up to braving the icy conditions and cold weather, so I watched the Grove Avenue Baptist Church broadcast. I have come to really like Mark Becton, the pastor. I was struck by one comment he made and it has stayed with me. He said, "Evil works where discouragement lodges."
I know this statement impacted me so much because it applies to me and my life! How about you? Are you discouraged?
I am prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder and it has been a long and cold winter here in Virginia. The snow is beautiful and I have savored the sunrises particularly in the past two weeks. I assume there is some meteorological reason for the especially stunning dawn sky recently. I love sitting in my living room watching the morning sky change and brighten through the glass doors to the deck.
In my writing nook hangs the calendar my son gave me for Christmas. Each month displays an absolutely gorgeous nature scene and offers a verse of scripture. The photo for February is a close up of a cherry blossom branch with a white dove, either landing or preparing to take off. The background is nothing but the blue sky.
We have been to Washington DC for many a Cherry Blossom festival and it's difficult to imagine balmy breezes and the almost overpowering scent of cherry blossom trees blooming when the thermometer reads 12 degrees and the landscape resembles a frozen tundra!
My discouragement whispers to me that winter will never end and I will experience this near claustrophobia until I die! Discouragement revisits the nibbling thought that the cherry blossoms will never bloom when I'm tired. I can deal with the 'regular' discouragements of life on a "good day." In the depths of winter, smothered by cold and draped in snow, I can all too readily invite discouragement in to where I lodge.
I rejoice that I know Jesus, the defeater of discouragement! With Him I have the energy and the strength to kick discouragement out, clean out the guest room where he comes to visit and send him packing on a one-way trip back to where he came from!
Spring is just around the corner!
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NIV).
Blessings on your journey,