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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - May 25, 2006

  • 2006 May 25
  • COMMENTS

 

5/25/06

Encouragement for Today

(Principle #1)

 

“What Caused My Fire to Lose Its Glow?”

Melissa Taylor, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Hebrews 13:5b, “…be satisfied with what you have.  For God has said, ‘I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.’” (NLT)

 

Devotion:

If asked to describe my faith, for years I would’ve told you that I was on fire for the Lord.  My relationship with God was intimate and joyful.  I was passionate for His Word. I had a love for teaching my children about God and His promises.  Leading Bible studies and speaking at various events fueled me even more.  No matter what my circumstances, I seemed to be able to draw peace and joy that could only come from knowing Jesus.  You see, I trusted God completely.  I totally believed His Word.  When it was time to celebrate, I praised His Holy Name.  When it was time to mourn, I trusted His plan.  It wasn’t always easy, but I maintained a fire that, it seemed, could not be extinguished.

 

Why then, I had to ask God, did that fire I had in my heart suddenly appear to be decreasing?  What was causing my fire to lose its glow?  I didn’t love God any less.  I hadn’t lost faith in His power.  I still believed every bit of His Word.  Why was I not “feeling” renewed, excited, joyful, and peaceful like I always had before?  Was my fire burning out?  The truth is that I was burned out.

 

Although I never thought my life or those around me were in my control, I was beginning to feel helpless in many roles of my life as a woman, mother, friend, daughter, sister, etc.  I was being pulled in so many directions.  So many people needed me and relied on me.  Out of the blue, unannounced, without my permission, and to my dismay, I felt completely numb inside.  I did not know what to do.  I was fine, but the circumstances around me overwhelmed me.  Where I ordinarily relied on God for guidance through the tough times, I couldn’t “feel” His presence anymore.  The worst part of this for me was that I couldn’t pinpoint why.

 

I thought I was doing all the right things.  I searched my Bible for answers daily.  I prayed and cried out to the Lord for help.  I confided in my closest Christian friends.  I was lost and felt abandoned by God without a concrete reason.  My passion and fire had fizzled.  My flame had reduced to a spark.  I had grown stale and tired in my walk with the Lord.   I was still going through the motions, but was still “feeling” no comfort.  Even worse, I started listening to country music….not the fun, happy songs, but the ones that make you cry!  I cried right along with them.

 

My husband and kids wanted to know where their wife and mom had gone.  I did too.  That summer became known as the “bummer summer.”

 

All my life, I’ve been an encourager and someone who naturally had a smile to share.  I enjoyed my life with which God had blessed me.  What happened to that person?  Would I be like this forever?  Thankfully, no. 

 

I began to feel better over the next few months.  I wish I could tell you the answer, the reason, or the way that the spark became a flame again, but I can’t.  I hesitated to even write this story, because I didn’t have an answer to the question, “What caused my fire to lose its glow?”  What I can tell you is that I never gave up on God.  Even though I couldn’t feel His presence in my life, I knew He was there.  I knew it because I knew His Word, and I believed it.  Second Corinthians 5:7 says that we are to believe in what we can’t see.  I also had to learn to believe in what I couldn’t feel.

 

My friends and family prayed for me during this time.  I prayed for me too.  When I look back, I think God may have been trying to teach me to slow down, rest in Him, allow Him to carry me for a while, and to totally trust Him. 

 

In my recent conversations with God, I have asked Him to please keep my flame burning bright for Him.  I want to possess a flame that is warm and inviting, much more than a mere spark.  It reminds me of a song I used to sing at camp, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going…”  Now my fire is indeed going again.  God also gave me a new life verse through this experience.  It is spoken by Jesus in Matthew 5:14-15.  He said, “You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.  Don’t hide your light under a basket!  Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all.”  That’s exactly what I aim to do.

 

If you are in a place where you don’t “feel” God, do not give up.  Do not despair or worry.  Hang onto what you know is true, and that is the Word of God.  Read it often and trust Him to remain faithful, loving, and in control just like it says.  He will never abandon you, just as He never abandoned me.  God is true to His Word no matter how we are feeling.  He is true to His Word today, tomorrow and forever. 

 

My Prayer for Today:

Oh Lord, today I want to thank You for Your Word, Your Love letter written for us.  Give me the desire to read it, know it, and live it.  Thank You that all You say is true, and that I never have to fear You leaving me to survive this life alone.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

If you are struggling to feel God near, write the verses down from this devotion on index cards.  Place them around your home, car, office, and purse to remind you that God is still with you. 

 

Ask a trusted friend to pray for you.  Pray for them too.

 

Spend time with God every single day.  Don’t let the busyness of life rob you of your time with the Lord.  Give Him proper place in your life….first place!

 

Reflection Points:

Do I have a passion for God’s Word? 

 

What am I doing to develop a passion for God’s Word?

 

Do I trust that everything that God says is true?

 

Is there someone in my life who could use some encouragement?

 

Power Verses:

Jeremiah 15:16, “Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul.  They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me.  How proud I am to bear your name, O Lord.”  (TLB)

 

2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  (NIV)

 

Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.”  (NLT)

 

James 4:8a, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”  (NIV)

 

Hebrews 13:5b, “…be satisfied with what you have.  For God has said, ‘I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.’”  (NLT)

 

Additional Resources:

When You’re Running on Empty, by Cyndi McMenamin

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whenYoure.htm

 

A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life, by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_secretBalanced.htm

 

Getting Over the Blues, by Leslie Vernick

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_gettingOver.htm

 

 

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