Posts Tagged ‘discouragement from the enemy’

This week, I sat down at my desk to write, my mind tired and my body likewise. I squirmed and fidgetted—my back that was operated on some weeks ago still does not take kindly to my sitting anywhere for extended periods. My first task was to write some emails in preparation for our trip to Melbourne this week for three book events. But as I thought about those events, I sighed a little. Did I have the energy to give of my best at each of them? And why was I feeling a little half-hearted about things I usually love doing?

Perhaps it was that I was thinking about our new granddaughter and how I could best help her mum with looking after her and her energetic, two-year-old brother! Perhaps it was that I have several dear friends in the midst of difficult situations in their lives who are very much in my thoughts and prayers. I feel their burdens and wish I could lift these from them. Perhaps it was that my mind preferred to continue figuring out how best to re-arrange the contents of the book I am currently writing. And perhaps, behind and beneath all these things, that old enemy was lurking, trying to dim my enthusiasm for these upcoming book events.

Then two things happened that changed my perspective and caused that joy and anticipation to start flooding back. The first came out of the blue, from a direction I would never have expected. Someone contacted me via my website, asking me to consider being the speaker at a women’s retreat for her church later this year. A few days later, I met some of the women organising this event over lunch, none of whom I had known previously. As I responded to their questions and watched their faces, I was humbled to realise how much trust they were placing in me. And again I saw what a privilege it is to share from the heart with women at events like this and to be part of enabling others to grow in God in some way.

The second came in the form of a simple email from a friend who wanted to share her joy at finally signing a publishing contract for her children’s book. After I had replied to her email and commented on what was happening in my own life, she wrote a further few lines back, including the following simple statement:

What amazing doors God has opened up for you with your books … He is amazing!

I could have easily let my eyes slide over her comment. I could have brushed it aside and not taken it in fully. But God was there beside me, I believe, tapping me on the shoulder and saying gently: Listen to that, Jo! Be thankful for these opportunities! And remember, I am the One opening up those doors for you!

Yes, I needed that broader perspective. And I needed to be reminded not to take for granted all those opportunities God has given me but receive them with an open hand and heart. If I am tired, then God will enable. If I feel discouraged, God will encourage. If I am weak, God will strengthen and empower.

And that’s true for you too!

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor 12:9

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