What a title for the first post of my birthday week! I promise this is not me whining a lot but a sharing of a restored spirit. Why did God need to rescue my heart and why do we sometimes struggle with despair? These are questions that I want to answer and I pray that when I am finished you will both enlightened and encouraged. Okay, first the easy answer. Webster’s dictionary has a couple of words you may be more familiar with in defining despair. Some synonyms for despair are disheartened or discouraged.
As I mentioned on my About Me page, the stroke experiences that I went through were some of the most horrifying and humbling I ever encountered in my life. I would never wish that on my worst enemy. The nightmares, the physical abuse, and the helplessness. I shudder just reliving it! I cannot believe I am here writing this post but by the grace of God I am still here 5 years later. I must admit that buried in the back of my mind I feel I’ve had my “quota” of difficulties”. I am always longing for those peaceful days of tranquility…not so fast!
Anyway, back to to the here and now. There are certain times that I most look forward to each year. Thanksgiving(I love the attitudes of thankfulness, the family gatherings, and the variety of food) Christmas( I love the music, the true meaning, and I absolutely love giving presents!) and finally my birthday month.(Yes I said month, I usually attempt to celebrate from the beginning of August through Labor Day)
This year has been different. I injured my right wrist about 3 weeks ago. I am not really sure how it happened. With my left hand still weakened from the stroke; this has definitely been an unfortunate reminder of that helplessness I felt 5 years ago. A feeling that I have been definitely hoping to avoid.
Now as I sit here in the tranquility and quietness of night; I believe I know the reason I was feeling so disheartened. I have been focusing on the circumstances. The broken toilet,pain in my wrist and the uncertainty of the injury, among other things. The worst has been being stuck in my home for three straight weeks! Not exactly how anyone plans to spend their time leading up to their birthday! Admittedly,I have allowed these things to take my focus off God. He knows everything. He was not surprised that this happened to me . In fact he knew beforehand and I know there is a purpose for why all this is going on. Now I know that it is possible some of you may be dealing with despair of a more tragic nature. My prayer is that you will find comfort knowing that regardless of what you are experiencing or going through, God is right there with you wanting to help you and give you the strength to carry on.
“Do not fear, do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you; surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Sunday was my birthday and my sister and her family came to pick me up for church and lunch at her home. I was busy hustling around in the morning getting dressed because I did not want to make us late. I was so focused on getting ready that I never took the time to have my “quiet time” with God. I thanked Him when I woke up first thing for allowing me to see another day but then it was fix breakfast, brush my teeth, get dressed, and get my stuff together then wait. I had time to read my bible and really pray but for whatever reason I didn’t.
I had a wonderful time at church,my sister fixed a fantastic meal, and the fellowship with my family was delightful. However, something was missing…my time with God. It is easy to forget to make time for God in dealing with the desires and demands that develop each day but one thing I have learned since my stroke. [clickToTweet tweet=”Spending time with God is like the air I breathe. I cannot live without either of them!” quote=”Spending time with God is like the air I breathe. I cannot live without either of them!”]
Another prevalent reason that can lead to discouragement is that we try to do things on our own. I am really bad about this. I have a really difficult time asking for help! Even throughout my stroke recovery; I have been beyond reluctant to ask for help. Call it pride, call it foolishness… it is always difficult for me. These are the times when it is imperative that we ask for help.
For some reason, I feel that don’t want to be a burden or a bother. Have you been there? Please tell me you can relate. We worry what will somebody think. Why even in Sunday school when they asked for prayer requests; I thought about asking for prayer on the healing of my wrist and telling everyone it was my birthday but I thought to myself, ” I can’t do that..it’s selfish.” Seriously.. I didn’t even ask for help in church? Let’s see what James says in the Bible.
“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him and anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14
Hmm… pretty clear instructions there. That is why it all is making sense to me now. I hope for you as well. This morning I spent extra time reading and studying God’s word. I happened to read the last few chapters of Esther, one of my favorite books of the bible. If she had not asked the king for help, the people of Israel would have been utterly destroyed! I also read some verses in Psalm 119 where the Psalmist is constantly, consistently, and with such conviction asking for God’s help and seeking His direction.
So whether it be pride, fear, or just plain selfishness; We must remember that these are some of Satan’s favorite weapons that He uses to cause doubt and despair in our lives. As I mentioned in a recent post , Putting on the Full Armor of God Everyday, If we do not spend quality time in God’s word, which is the sword of the spirit and don’t make prayer time a priority with God; we are heading into battle unprepared. Can you imagine a soldier entering into battle without their weapon, instructions or without a strategy? Not much chance for a victory!
In closing, Let me recap. We are usually most susceptible to doubt and despair when we focus on the circumstances around us and not on God. Secondly; we should always be willing and humble enough to ask for help and not worry about what people will think of us.
I want to thank you for allowing me to share my innermost thoughts with you. I must admit that this has been the most difficult and yet most reaffirming posts I have written. I want to share my heart and let you see that my intentions to help, inspire and encourage are sincere.
I am humbled that you have taken the time to listen and I pray that this has been of some help to you when struggling. My heart has definitely been rescued as the doubts and despair swirled around me this past week. We must remember that every hour, day, and year that God allows us to see is a blessing from Him. We may not understand everything that is happening but we must seek and trust Him wholeheartedly!
Horace Williams Jr is the oldest son of a pastor who went to be with Jesus in 2020. He is an award-winning author and amateur chef who loves Jesus Christ. His passion for Christ inspires readers to draw nearer to the God who loves them.