Thursday, February 23, 2017
So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. Exodus 6:9(NLT)
A “lagging sense of discouragement” seems to characterize what I see in the faces of a lot of people these days. You can only guess at the source of such malaise. Some would say it is a political season hangover. Those who populate the far left and far right are treading water, with the left scrambling to come up with reasons why their candidate faded into the oblivion of an unfriendly electoral congress. On the far right are those trying not to gloat in ungracious victory, and at the same time suffering embarrassment over the mixed messages that come out of the new administration. Staying focused and level these days is like trying to nail Jell-O to the living room wall.
It’s hard to stay positive when everything has changed, changes daily, and it seems like no one really knows what is going to happen. It’s as unsettling and discouraging as what the golfers experienced that day. It was the town’s Methodist preacher playing with the rich businessman whose spotty reputation and foul-language belied the fact that he hadn’t graced the inside of a church for many a year.
The businessman was losing his temper over his terrible golf skills. Every time he would swing at the ball and miss it by a mile, he’d roar: I missed; I missed; I can’t believe I missed! Four times on the first hole, six times on the second… I missed; I missed; I can’t believe I missed!
By the time the golfers reached hole #11 the preacher had heard about the businessman’s missing, missing, missing about 40 times. But it all came unglued on the twelfth hole when the businessman missed again…badly; he turned the preacher’s ears blue with a string of expletives that would have made a longshoreman blush. And with that there was a lightning bolt from heaven that cracked open the cloudless sky and split the Methodist preacher clean in two!
The businessman stood there, staring in disbelief at the charred remains. Then, slowly, a deep voice from above: I missed; I missed; I can’t believe I missed!
There are times in life when all you can do is shake your head and agree with Scripture that the Lord sends his rain on the just and the unjust – and only He knows why![ii]
If you’re feeling a little discouraged…or a lot discouraged…remember the settled fact that circumstances may be around you, but they cannot define you if you’re a child of God.
Title image: By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
[ii] Matthew 5:45