Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The cure for discouragement

Well, Satan must be mad that I've made a commitment to draw closer to God with less tv and no "guy talk" over the next month. (See previous posts for more info on that) It's been pretty crazy for the past few days. Here's the low down: I was in a car accident on Saturday. It wasn't my fault and no one was hurt but my car is pretty much totalled. I still need to get it checked out to know for sure but it's pretty bad. The people who hit me are trying to blame me and even though there is absolutely NO WAY it was my fault, the police weren't called and we don't have a whole lot of proof of what happened. (Hey, cut me some slack. I was alone and scared and didn't know what to do.) There were issues first of all because they wouldn't give me their insurance info initially. (They said I didn't need it because it was my fault...which it wasn't. Have I mention that?) Then when I finally called the police later that evening, he told me my best bet was to go and find them (which was also an issue since they didn't give me any contact info. Thankfully they live at the apartment complex across the street), and get their info and take it up with their insurance company. So, by a miracle of God, I was able to find them and get their information. I called the insurance company the next day only to have them tell me that those people had cancelled their insurance and were, therefore, uninsured at the time of the accident. Great. So now it's small claims court time. I've never had to deal with this before and it's pretty scary for me. I have no idea how to go about this. SOO....this is stressful at the moment.
I also found out bad news about my taxes. It's way too complicated to explain but I'm going to be paying a whole lot more than I should be. Then just throw in the fact that I am still up in the air about what I'm doing next year. (Moving back to Missouri or staying in all depends on the job situation) I've been filling out applications and sending out resumes like crazy. Plus my landlord just told me I can't get a dog. Yes, this does make me sad. So it may not sound like much but I've gotten bad news of some kind every day since Saturday. It was becoming a little heavy for me. It seemed like everyone around me just wanted to add to the stress a little.
All day yesterday, I had the song "I look to You" by Selah stuck in my head. It seemed random since I hadn't heard it in a while. When I got home from work, I received yet another piece of bad news and proceeded to have a tiny breakdown. Not the worst one I've ever had but there were definitely tears. My roommate did everything she could to cheer me up, including pretty flowers, a hilarious card, and Dr. Pepper. I felt a little better by the end of the night but still didn't know what to do about all the different situations. Right before bed, I opened my Bible. The marker was at Numbers 20. I read about all the bad things that were happening to Israel. They were, first of all, wandering in the desert. They were without water. The people of Edom wouldn't let them pass through their land. Aaron died. And king Arad of Canaan fought against them in the first verse of chapter 21. He even took some of them prisoners. Now, God helped them to defeat these Canaanites but according to 21:4, the people became very discouraged. They were having to go the long way around the land of Edom and with everything else they were dealing with, it just seemed too hard. Their discouragement caused them to speak against God and Moses. It caused them to be unthankful. This made God angry and he sent firey serpents to bite them and many Israelites died.
Moses handled things way differently than I would have...he prayed for the people and God made a way of salvation. Moses was to make a serpent of brass and put it on a pole and if the people but looked on the serpent they would live. This, as most are aware of, is a picture of Christ. The point here, as I heard explained once, is that the people got their eyes off of God and were instead looking at all their horrible circumstances. Everything was going wrong but they were still to keep their focus on God. He had proven time and again that He could handle anything. He hadn't left them. He knew about all of these things.
Lets bring it to today... We often get discouraged because of the circumstances of life. Jobs don't work out how we thought they would. Money is scarce. Health is failing. Relationships don't come when we think they should. People pass away..... We get in car wrecks. We have to pay taxes. We can't get a puppy. Life is just hard sometimes. In my case it's a bunch of issues that I can't really fix or I'm going to have a really difficult time fixing. The key to not letting them overwhelm me is looking to the One who is in control of it all.

"As I lay me down
Heaven hear me now
I'm lost without a cause
After giving it my all

Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun
After all that I've been through
Who on earth can I turn to?

I look to You, I look to You
After all my strength is gone
In You I can be strong.
I look to You, I look to You
And when melodies are gone
In You I hear a song
I look to You

About to lose my breath
There's no more fighting left
Sinking to rise no more
Searching for that open door

And every road that I've taken
lead to my regret
And I don't know if I'm gonna make it
Nothing to do but lift my head

I look to You, I look to You
After all my strength is gone
In You I can be strong
I look to You, I look to You
And when melodies are gone
In You I hear a song
I look to You...

And my levees are broken
My walls have come tumbling down on me
The rain is falling
Defeat is calling
I need You to set me free
Take me far away from the battle
I need You to shine on me....

I look to You..."
(Now, this song, I realized later was originally a Whitney Houston song. I'm not a fan of hers so this is the version I prefer.)

Conclusion: In Numbers 21:10 it says that Israel "set forward". That's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna look to the Lord to help me handle all these issues and problems and then I'm gonna move forward and do what I need to do. There is no time for moping about in self pity. God is in control. I must look to Him. This is my new motto... "Look to Him." It's so much more than cliche. Taking our problems and heavy hearts to God is a stress reliever and discouragement lessener. (If that's really a word :))


ERICA said...

Wow...I hate to hear how the devil's been fighting you, but I'm very glad to see you're still looking to the Lord! I heard said one time that when you resolve to do something, especially for God, trials are gonna come to test that resolve just to see how serious you really are about what you resolved to do. So maybe that's what's going on. Either way, just stay strong and lean on Him and trust in His will. He always knows what He's doing and it always turns out for what's good for you and so HE will get the glory!
In Christ,

Tammy said...

Good ponderings! I'll pray for you to have the strength to stand by your decision.