Vol. 19 No. 29 | July 23, 20
Life can be disheartening. You may have experienced it. In fact, you may respond to that opening statement with something like: Disheartening? Are you kidding? My life is frustrating. My life is tough. My life stinks! My life is a constant struggle. My life is miserable. My life is a disaster.
I chose the wording of that statement for a reason. Disheartening presents a gentler and less severe description of life that seems a better fit for most of us. Of course, there are times when life is full of frustration, disappointment, and downright misery. But when most of us consider our life in total, we would agree that life can be disheartening, but it is not always disheartening.
There are times when life is full joy and celebration, when you are healthy, when your work is going well, and your family is happy. There are times when life is good.
Balance these times with times of sadness and defeat. You, or someone in your family, is not healthy. Your work is not going well, or perhaps you cannot find a job. Your family is in the midst of a crisis. Life, in its entirety, is not good, and you feel disheartened.
You do the best you can, but some days your best just does not seem to be enough. You feel like you have made the right decisions, you have received and followed good advice — the best you could ask for — but the results you had hoped for did not come. You are not down and out, but you are disheartened.
There is good news. You are not alone. If you follow the story of Jesus and His disciples through the gospels, you will notice times when His followers did not understand what He was saying, or where He was headed. They became confused, frustrated, and disheartened by the lack of what they considered progress. On one of those occasions Jesus addressed their low spirits.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. (John 14:1-4, NIV)
There is more good news. Not only does Jesus understand being disheartened, He gives a reason for hope. You know the way. You know Jesus. Even though He is not physically with you, His spirit will always be with you. Comfort will come. You will not be alone.
Please do not think me naive. I understand that reading the words of Jesus, acknowledging that other people at times also feel disheartened, and remembering that Jesus is always with you is no magical formula for making you immune to occasionally being frustrated, discouraged, and disheartened. But I do suggest to you that knowing Jesus and relying on His constant presence is the best place to start.
When the negatives of the coming week begin to knock you around, remember Jesus’ words. By knowing Him, you know where things are headed, and He will be with you.
A Norvell Note © Copyright 2017 Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.