Snow in March. Certainly not what I would have expected this time of year. Especially in Georgia. Usually the trees are showing signs of tiny green foliage and the weather is beckoning me to leave my work and bask in the beauty of spring. Although we've been taunted with a few warm days, winter is determined to hold on as long as it can...Will spring ever return? Logically, I know the answer is 'yes.' But the leaden sky and cold temperatures give me cause to wonder.
Life can be similar. What I expect, and what actually happens, can be two very different things. Disappointment and Discouragement pound on my door. Will I answer? On those days when I'm stretched to the limit with a million things on my 'to do' list, I sometimes throw the door open wide and invite the two D's to come in and make themselves at home. Soon I'm sipping bitter tea and munching the bread of idleness at a pity party thrown in my honor. My 'visitors' quickly unload their knapsacks with everything I need to continue this so-called party, for quite some time. I'm handed a box full of reminders that convince me that I have a right to be disappointed that my children's story got overlooked. Discouragement tells me I may as well give up the dream to be a writer.
As our 'party' continues, I almost miss the quiet knock on my door. As I slowly make my way to the front of the house, I'm aware that Disappointment and Discouragement follow a short distance behind. I peek out the window, before opening the door. A familiar Friend waits patiently before knocking a second time. By now I realize that the two D's have left my house in a shambles. With furniture in disarray, crumbs and paper littering the table, I turn from the door and frantically begin to clean my house. Disappointment and Discouragement try to convince me that appearances are all-important, and that my house will never measure up.
I hear the faint knock again and realize that this Friend wants to spend time with me and cares about me more than the condition of my house. I run back to the door and greet my Friend warmly. His words for me are reassuring, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30; KJV). As I continue to read the letter my Friend has given me, I scarcely notice Disappointment and Discouragement tiptoeing out the front door.
Where Disappointment and Discouragement gave me reasons to wallow in self-pity and demand my rights, this true Friend offers me Hope and Encouragement. He asks me why I am downcast. He shares His wisdom, "...hope thou in God," assuring me that in due time I will praise Him for the help of His countenance (Psalm 42:5). He encourages me to trust in Him.
As I trade in the bitter tea and bread of idleness for the Living Water and the Bread of Heaven, I can feel myself being restored and renewed. I apologize for keeping company with Disappointment and Discouragement and feel a peace flood my soul. The worries of the day are put into proper perspective as I meditate on my Friend's words, "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth" (Psalm 46:10).
As I accept the Strength He offers me, He reminds me, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). What a promise! With my eyes firmly fastened on my Friend, I resolve to leave the door unanswered the next time the two D's come calling. With my Friend's active presence in my life, I can live victoriously!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, May life's disappointments and discouragements draw me ever-closer to my true Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.