|Posted by Charles Holsinger on December 15, 2020 at 12:00 AM|
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I have been somewhat concerned with a trend that I see happening among God's people. There is a sense of discouragement that seems to exist around many people in the church today. The discouragement seems to come from many things seemingly not "working out" the way we often think they should work out. I have also experienced that in many ways in 2020. I have said the words, "It's just not fair" several times this year. And honestly in those moments of pure discouragment it didn't seem fair and it still doesn't. Sometimes people especially other Christians mistake feelings of discouragment with unthankfulness but that's not always the case. When our son at 18 years old had a stroke in July 2020 and was not able to walk 10 feet across the floor and could barely talk we wasn't unthankful because we knew that it could have been worse. However, we still felt overwhelmed and discouraged and it sure didn't seem fair to us. In those moments we couldn't help but have an overwhelming feeling of dismay. I have Pastored and been in ministry for several years and while I have not been perfect in my walk with God I have always tried to be the example that our children, community, and church family could look to I still found myself dismayed.
As the year continued the stroke happened in July and by November he is finishing up with therapy and has almost completely recovered. I was preaching about an hour away from where we live and on our way home we hit a deer! The insurance company ended up totaling our car and giving us what seemed like a fair price but still not enough to go purchase another vehicle. Again we were thankful there was no injuries and we were thankful we had insurance and could at least receive some type of compensation but it left us between a rock and a hard place. Still paying off another vehicle we did not believe the Lord would be pleased with us going in to debt at this moment nor would it be wise to do so. So we are yet again feeling dismayed.
As the year continues we continue to move forward pursuing God's will for our lives and doing the work that the Lord has set for us to do preaching and working in ministry. Two weeks later after hitting the deer my wife and I was traveling to minister at a revival several hours away and while being there we both contracted Covid-19. Thankfully we both recovered well and had very mild symptoms and for that we are very grateful to the Lord because we know for many it is much much worse. But while we are thankful we still found ourself dismayed. Why, Lord, Why. First we hit a deer and total our car after preaching and then we get Covid-19 after preaching. What is going on? And to make it worse neither one of our jobs paid us while we were forced to be off and here it was 2 weeks before Christmas. And as it stands right now unemployment is still not been approved.
But the scripture said, Don't be dismayed. I'm going to be honest with you I have felt dismayed this year. But as I began to examine that scripture more closely maybe what the Lord is telling us is to not stay dismayed. Don't forget that God is with us regardless of the circumstance and regardless of the outcome. I have had to learn that sometimes in this life things just don't work out the way I think they should and in those "not fair" moments it can be hard not to feel dismayed. But feeling dismayed in a moment is not the same as staying dismayed. Take a moment, quench your fist, cry those tears, close your eyes and breath and then get back up and put one foot in front of the other and remember who you are in Christ Jesus. He said for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. You might be dismayed but don't stay dismayed.