Des-pon-dent (adj.): feeling or showing extreme discouragement, dejection, or depression.

Imagine that God has asked you to take your car to the local car wash.  Ignore the fact that this is a small task; instead, focus on the fact that God Himself has spoken to you and has chosen you to do this job.  His words aren't hidden in parables or riddles; He is very clear about His request.  At first, you have all kinds of excuses why you can't do it: I'm out of quarters, I don't have time, I'm afraid that the pressure of the water blasting from the hose will dislocate a finger.  Anything and everything you can think of, you throw at God because you're scared.  (I personally don't know why you'd be frightened by the car wash, but everybody has their issues.)

Now imagine that He has reassured you and has told you that you are the one He wants for this job.  After some time and thought, you accept your fate and go to do what the Father has asked of you.  But on your way to the local car wash, a tire blows.  This is not the way you expected this trip to go.  If God asks you to do something specifically, shouldn't the trip be pretty easy?  It only seems right.  Soon, little doubts start creeping into your mind.  Maybe this isn't really what God wanted.  Maybe it's all in your head.  Maybe you've gone crazy and should contact a local psychiatrist.

You still feel as if this is what God asked you to do, despite the voice in your head telling you that you've lost it, so you pull out the spare and change the tire and go on your way.  Just as you're about to turn into the car wash, you run out of gas.  The Wash 'N Go is so close that you can feel cold water particles brushing your skin from the deadly hoses.  It's in this moment that you become despondent.  You're so close, yet so far, from what God has asked you to do.  You thought you were chosen.  You thought God would be with you.  You thought this is what He wanted!  If that was the case, wouldn't He make it a little easier for you to fulfill the task He's given you?  You're discouraged, distraught, and discombobulated.  Confusion and heartsickness infuse you as you watch other cars pass you by in order to get washed.  What was God doing?  What was the purpose for all of this?

If you're like me, you've been there before.  Not necessarily in the entrance of a car wash, but you've felt despondent.  Like you began a journey with God and, somewhere along the way, He dropped out or you lost sight of the goal.  We wait for a little while for God to fulfill what He has told us, but we soon lose patience or don't understand His ways and we become despondent.  We lose hope.  We feel discouraged.  Want to know something surprising?

Moses felt that way, too.  Moses, the man of great faith who heard directly from God, became despondent once upon a time.  You know the story: after getting direction from God Himself, Moses and his brother Aaron took off for Egypt to gain the freedom of the Israelites.  Pharaoh refused to let the people go, but he didn't just stop there.  He actually gave the Israelites more work to do because he felt they had too much time on their hands if they were asking for freedom.  The Israelites were upset.  If I had been working all that time and some guy came into the picture and made it worse for me, I'd be like, "Yo.  You should probably get out of my face, because I really don't like you right now."

And that's basically what the Israelites told Moses and Aaron once they came across them.  In Exodus 5:21, they told Moses exactly how they felt.  They prayed that God would look on the brothers and judge them for what they had done to increase the Israelites' workload.  Remember, this is the Old Testament.  God's judgment before Christ's resurrection was pretty intense.  To wish that kind of punishment on someone was evidence of a sincere dislike.

As a result, Moses, understandably, was under the impression that he had done more harm than good by coming to Pharaoh as God had instructed.  And in verses 22-23 of that same chapter, Moses turns to God and basically asks, "Why am I even here?  If all I'm doing is creating chaos and turning these people against me, what is Your purpose?  Because ever since I got here and spoke to Pharaoh, as You've asked me to do, he's done nothing but make things worse for them.  And You haven't done a thing to deliver Your people."


God responded to Moses and said, "Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land" (Exodus 6:1).  God's response to Moses in his time of questioning is incredible to me.  He didn't grow angry at being questioned.  He didn't get someone else to do the job because Moses was clearly not feeling it anymore.  He restates His purpose for Moses' journey and reassures Moses that He is in control.  It's almost as if Moses had to have his moment of despondency in order for God to be fully glorified.  As you know, Moses went on to free the Israelites from Pharaoh's land and fulfill God's purpose.  It didn't happen immediately, but it happened.

Rest assured that God's plan is perfect in ways that we can't begin to understand or comprehend.  If He has made a promise to you or has given you a purpose to fulfill, rest assured that my God keeps His word.  You may feel like you've been waiting forever, but His ways are not our ways.  His thoughts are not our thoughts.  His word will not return void; it will accomplish that which He pleases and it will prosper in the thing for which God sent it.  There is such beauty in the knowledge that what God has given us to do will be accomplished in His perfect timing according to His perfect will.  Do not become discouraged while pursuing what God has given you to do; rejoice in the fact that, in His time, all will be as He said.

1 comment:

  1. Wow... very powerful! This definitely describes my life right here! This gave me such a renewed sense of hope and was a great reminder of how God truly does come through for us.=)