Yesterday I folded laundry, made a pot roast, worked on a chapter in the book I am writing. If anybody had been watching me do all this, they might have thought it was pretty insignificant, my day. Nobody would have been able to tell I was doing all this...by faith. Because the truth is, I felt like lying down, pulling the covers over my head and going to that murky place of dream land. Any dream I could have slipped into would have been better than the reality I was experiencing.
I'm not going through any severe trial or catastrophic circumstance. What I am experiencing, though, is the doldrums, the spirit of heaviness. I feel exhausted but more than that I feel helpless, incapable. There are a number of reasons why I've lost confidence in my God-given abilities, but the point I want to make here is this: sometimes people are acting on the last bit of energy, faith, and hope that they have.
You see them doing a load of laundry, and really they are doing an incredible feat of accomplishment because they would rather just go to bed and forget everything. You see them walking their dog, but really they are taking step by step, in faith, because they are trying. Period.
We have no idea of what some people are experiencing because we don't always see what they are feeling. We see them as capable and talkative, and in reality, they are mustering their last bit of strength and faith just to talk to you.
Yesterday there was a knock on my door. Harry went ballistic with his barking. I could barely hear the guy, when I opened the door, because I had Harry by the collar and was trying to restrain him. He's a sweet dog but don't mess with his territory or threaten his masters. This guy was no threat, but Harry didn't know that.
"Would you like to see the seafood and meat we have for sale?" he asked me hopefully. I couldn't even hear the name of the company, but even if it had been legitimate and known for delicious food, I already had a freezer full of meat. And we're not much for seafood, except for in the summer time. So I told him no thank you, and I hope he heard the sincerity in my voice. He might not have because Harry had not ceased to growl and bark.
He left and I went back downstairs to work on the laundry. But immediately I felt something in my spirit for this man- and it was compassion. What a hard job he had, I thought. I wouldn't like to have to go door to door-- not in this day and age, not in this economy. But the operative words were "have to." He probably had no other choice. He probably had a family to feed. He probably had something better to do in previous years, but wound up with this job to do--because it was the only thing he could do.
So I prayed for that man. Oh I prayed a thunderbolt of blessing to come and hit him. I prayed for a flood of encouragement and provision into his life. It was too late for me to go call him back to my house, and I really couldn't have bought much from him other than maybe a steak for that night. But it wasn't too late for me to reach him through prayer.
Maybe it was good that I was feeling so low yesterday, so dispirited and discouraged. That allowed me to relate to someone else who literally had a hard road ahead of him. That caused me to pray for, and bless, that man. And believe me, we do have the power to bless, and not curse.
It is no small thing to ask God to bless someone. God loves it when we pray for others and want others to have what we would want to have. So I wanted this man to be lifted up. I wanted this man to know hope and strength. I wanted this man to get a break and get a better way to make a living. I wanted his family to see him come home and say to them, "I don't know why- it was a crummy day in sales- but I feel encouraged. I feel hopeful." And then out of that encouragement, he may try to send out a resume again. He may try to start that business. He may decide to go back to school and get that degree that everybody told him he was too old to get. He just might decide that he can keep going.
Friend, no matter how down you feel, God will send someone to encourage you or pray for you. Be assured that He will not let you stay down when you feel down. He wants to lift you up. He wants to answer prayers that are spoken over you by someone else who saw you struggling to do things...by faith.
In Judges 6, we read the account of an Angel greeting Gideon with an amazingly positive proclamation, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." Gideon did not feel like a mighty warrior. He didn't even look like one. But the Angel is there to tell Gideon about the mission assigned to him of saving Israel from the Midianites. And here's the incredible thing the Angel says to him,"Go in the strength you have." The little that you have, use it. The bit of strength you have, fight with it. It might be more than you realize.
Today, please know that if YOU are reading this, and you need encouragement, I care about your predicament. But more than that GOD CARES. He cares about salesmen out on the road, about stay at home moms who are exhausted, about teenagers overwhelmed with choices, about men who are out of work and out of hope as far as they can see. He cares about you doing the ordinary things that are taking seemingly extraordinary strength to do. HE sees you trying to take the next step of faith. He sees you using the bit of strength you have-- and He wants to multiply that strength.
So, go throughout your day, you mighty warrior!! There is more strength on its way to you. More blessing. More power.
There's just, simply...MORE.