Complaints. Delays. Lack of resources.
Opposition frustrates me.
It’s bad enough to have opposition from outside influences, the things beyond my control. But the really aggravating struggle is what comes from within me. So many times I feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of me and I doubt I’m the right person.
Like a snake charmer,
doubt woos the serpent of insecurity
out of its basket to hiss lies.
(Care to tweet?)
For the record: I already KNOW all the reasons why I’m not the right person for the job!
By faith, I slam the lid on the serpent’s basket and silence those lies with the truth of God’s Word. There’s such power in speaking scripture over a situation, and I do it on a regular basis.
But there’s also great power in the personal touch of a friend. Whether it’s a chat over coffee, an encouraging email, a phone call (thanks, Di!) or a comment on a post, God so very often uses friends to encourage me, including many of you!
I have a great opportunity to pay it forward this weekend. I’m traveling to Belize with some friends on a mission scouting trip. We’ll be meeting with a couple of ministry teams there to see how we can encourage them personally and support their ministries.
Their tasks aren’t easy. The needs are great and the resources are limited. They’re far away from family and friends. It’s easy to become discouraged, even when you’re doing the work the Lord called you to do.
As I’ve prayed for our trip, the Lord brought to mind my dad’s favorite Old Testament hero, Nehemiah.
He faced a daunting task: rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Not only did he have great needs and limited resources, Nehemiah also had people who frustrated and opposed him at every stage of the project.
I love Nehemiah’s confession:
They were all trying to frighten us, thinking,
“Their hands will get too weak for the work, and
it will not be completed.”
[But I prayed,] “Now strengthen my hands.”
~Neh 6:9 (NIV)
Strengthen my hands.
He didn’t ask God to remove the obstacles or wipe out their adversaries, He asked for strength to keep doing his job.
I believe God has limitless ways of strengthening our hands, and one way He does it is by bringing people into our lives. Think about some of the people He’s brought across your path. It’s nothing short of amazing!
We have so many opportunities to bless and encourage and speak life into each other; we just need to be sensitive to them.
I’m so grateful for the ways you all strengthen my hands each week. Now my friends and I hope to strengthen the hands of our friends in Belize. We don’t know the specific frustrations they face, but we’ll learn about their projects and needs, and be a part of their ministries as God leads us.
Please pray that we’ll refresh and encourage them to press on!