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Encourage Me With Substance
by Jennifer Kelly on April 20th, 2015

​It was that kind of morning.
 
The un-showered, pajama clad, and (late-to-everything-in-life) kind of morning.
 
The brutal morning awakening when you realize that absolutely no coffee in the world will be able to fix your downward spiral into hyperventilating-crazy-lady-land.
 
I might’ve even growled through my teeth a bit.
 
Frazzled, impatient and all-out-tired from the past couple of weeks, I was way past edgy. We’ve had sick kids, financial fixtures, job aggravations, service opportunities, prayer requests, funerals, and blah-blah-blah, just in the last couple of weeks alone.
 
I realized I was hanging on by a thread.
Or a sliver of a thread - emotionally, physically and mentally. I was a ticking time bomb, ready to implode.
 
Every once in a while (perhaps more often than not), I get overwhelmed and discouraged. Life sneaks up and suddenly shoots out kamikaze bombshells. When I finally find courage enough to peek over the bunker and assess the damage, I find my road is heavy laden with sickness, busyness and worry.
 
And when you are on the edge (with minimal amounts of sleep and copious amounts of caffeine), questions arise:
 
What in the world just happened?
God, are You seeing this?
Did I do something wrong?
Or was it something I didn’t do?
Can you (for the love of everything), just tell me what to do so I can make this STOP?

 
And please, before you say what I know you are already thinking - I really need you to understand something:
I KNOW that this season will not last forever, ok?
 
I don’t need to hear the same old adage that, “This too shall pass” or "God will never give you more than you can't handle" or "This must have been all part of God's plan".
Because honestly, I despise those words.
And the thing is, you saying that, does nothing to encourage me during my time of despair.
 
I need more than empty words.
I need truth in the form of love.
I need your presence and a reminder of promises to come.
I need to be brought back into the reality of eternity.

I need Scripture whispered in my ear and my soul fed its Daily Bread.
I need light in a world of darkness.
 
It’s OK to tell me that life sucks sometimes (because it certainly does), but that there is still hope. I am in the palm of His everlasting hands. I am loved beyond comprehension. I am His daughter. His beloved. Even in and through the midst of trials and tribulations. Even when I don't understand.
 
Remind me that hope often comes in our darkest hour. Sit with me, and read to me the story of Old all over again. Let me remember the pain, rejection and condemnation that Jesus experienced, so that I might forever be with Him for all eternity. 
 
Revive my spirit by your presence so that I may walk in truth and love – even on the days I don’t feel like it. Even on the days when my spirit is downcast and troubled with sorrow.
 
Even on the days when I’m in the thick of it.
 
Don’t tell me, “This too shall pass” unless you are prepared to remind me of all the other things that go with it.
 
Encourage me with substance.
 
Tell me that, “…tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance character; and character hope” like Paul did in Romans 5:3-4 (NKJV; italics my own).

Remind me that, "...God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain" like John did for the persecuted Christians in Revelations 21:4 (NKJV).
 
Because when I am reminded of eternal truth, my soul will be revived and I will be brave. It helps me to see past the now and look back for spots of grace sprinkled throughout the worst of situations. I will drink my coffee and let Scripture change my countenance. I will rely on Jesus to do the work I alone cannot do. Like being kind to my neighbor, husband and children on days where that seems impossible.
 
Because when you encourage me with substance, I remember.
 
I remember what God is and can do. I remember that everything will be made anew.  I remember that this life is my temporary home. I remember the things I so easily forget when going through crazy-land of sickness, kids, bills, setbacks, hurts and aggravations. I remember to get down on my weak and wobbly knees to ask for forgiveness for my Real-Housewives-of-Jennifer-Land attitude. I ask God (like the disciples did), “Lord, increase my faith!”
 
Because life is hard. And responding with the right attitude when going through hellish situations is even more difficult. Only in Christ’s strength will I be able to carry on through the midst of trials and tribulations with love and patience and perseverance. I wear mercy and grace and forgiveness around the deepest wounds of my heart.
 
When you encourage me with substance, when you point me to Jesus, when you speak life and light into my world - everything changes because I cling to the substance of hope found only in Christ.


*Image by Fotolia: www.fotolia.com


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2 Comments

Lori - April 22nd, 2015 at 6:32 PM
Thank you. Needed to read this more than ever.
bob - April 23rd, 2015 at 2:24 AM
Thank you for being substance to other in similar places, be blessed ad you bless %uD83D%uDE0E
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