I wasn’t watching where I was going and I got smacked across the head with a 2×4. But it was exactly what I needed to knock some sense into the 3-pound brain nestled inside my head that had shriveled to the size of a pea.
For several days I have been wallowing in discouragement. I have watched my 14-year-old four-legged little man steadily deteriorate due to arthritis which now requires me to carry him up and down the stairs to go outside to do his duty. Like my brain, his body has shrunk from the 30 pounds of his heyday to his current 20 pounds. The load isn’t an issue, but my torn meniscus is. The injury occurred six weeks ago, and it has been slow to heal, mostly because I refuse to let anything slow me down, even the words of the doctor. “Your knee is bone on bone. You’re going to be looking at a knee replacement in the future.”
So I precariously descend the steps one at a time, holding my breath with each step as the pressure is almost unbearable. And a few minutes later, when Jake’s business is finished, I wince again as I load the injured knee with the weight of both of us.
It has been difficult to watch my faithful friend slowly deteriorate. Some days he will drag himself around by his front legs only, and I look the other way but the idea of putting him down stares me in the face.
“God, why do I have to deal with this stuff? And why do I have to continue doing it all alone? Who is going to be waiting for me when I get home and Jake isn’t there? And what about the knee replacement? How long can I put that off? Who is going to take care of me then? Don’t you know how hard this is?” I let my mind become so overwhelmed with worry and fear that I ended up mentally and emotionally crying “Uncle!”
As I laid on the couch, my knee resting on a pile of pillows and wrapped with a heating pad, I was texting with a very wise and loving friend. She asked if I needed anything. “Just pray for me. I have a bad attitude right now.” I wasn’t watching where I was going. My wise friend wasn’t going to let this slip by.
“You have too much to be thankful for to have a bad attitude,” she replied.
Smack!! What? You don’t want to climb into this pity pot with me? There’s plenty of room in here, and I’d like some company, please. My wise friend didn’t join me.
Neither did Elijah commiserate with the widow of Zarephath.
“Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” he asked. “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” (1 Kings 17:10-11)
She had no food to spare.
“I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it — and die.” (1 Kings 17:12)
Like me, the widow was ready to throw the towel in and didn’t expect the words that came next.
“Elijah said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.” (1Kings 17:13-14)
And the words were true. Like my friend’s words. Elijah gave her words she needed to hear. People who care do that. They are God-sent. He knows exactly what you need and He sends the messenger at the right time.
“Like golden apples in silver settings, so is a word spoken at the right time. Like a gold ring and a fine gold ornament, so is constructive criticism to the ear of one who listens.” (Proverbs 25:11-12)
My highest and best purpose is not realized when I am wallowing in discouragement, which is why God sends messengers to speak to me at just the right time. And when He knows I need a shift in my thinking, He sends my cheerleaders. My cousins have my back. They’re my posse. So are my friends from the gym… and my friends at church… and my friends in my small groups. The size of the obstacle in front of you is no match for the force behind you when you realize how many people are pulling for you, cheering you on, encouraging, speaking words of truth, wisdom, encouragement – life. And if I could harness all of their love and support and collect it, it would be only a thimble full in comparison to the power of God’s love for me.
I needed to hear those words from my friend. They were a reminder of how God has always been there for me when I need Him. He will never leave me, nor forsake me. He has brought friends and family at just the right time to encourage and uplift, speaking words that breathe life into my weary heart.
What causes you to wave the white flag of surrender?
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Pam Weyant recently traded the harsh Midwestern winters for the sunny South. When she is not spending her time as a freelance court reporter, you will find her loving up her adorable cocker spaniel, hiking, traveling, writing creative nonfiction, or working out. Her passion is sharing her story so others can join her in celebrating the freedom found in a redemptive Savior.