What to do when you’re tired and discouraged?
Just to be honest I am tired and discouraged. I don’t say this to get sympathy or to make people feel sorry for me. I just say it to be real. I think I know why I feel the way I do, but knowing why doesn’t make me feel better. I’m sure it’s because I have been going at it with such intensity since January and I really haven’t had a break.
As a pastor and as a church we have been battling for some time, long before 2009, and I’m sure that I’m just tired of the fight, even though we have seen many incredible victories. In February I called our church to a month long fast and it has become one of the most powerful and enriching experiences of my ministry. During that month we did our annual Red Dress Tea and then right after that we went into Easter with all of its demands. Both events were amazing and awesome things have come from those outreaches but I know that I am just now coming down from the high. I think I might feel what Elijah felt after the incredible encoutner with God on Mount Carmel in I Kings 18. In chapter 19 Elijah went and sat under a broom tree and said, “I have had enough Lord!” Ever feel like that?
Tuesday night before prayer meeting I started feeling overly exhausted and even a little sick to my stomach. And honestly I was just tired and discouraged and wanted an excuse to be alone. I told Beth that I had had it and that I was going to stay home that night and let her lead the prayer meeting. She wasn’t too thrilled to have the prayer meeting laid on her at the last minute and so she encouraged me to try to press through and just come. I knew she was right and that I needed to be at prayer so I just went on and made it. And you know, it wasn’t 10 minutes in the presence of the Lord and in the midst of all the sounds of people lifting up their voices in prayer that all my exhaustion was gone and I didn’t feel near as tired or discouraged as I had felt before the prayer meeting. In fact, by the time the prayer meeting was over the burden of discouragement that I had felt was completely lifted! And truthfully, the next few days the discouragement returned but I know what helps it to lift!
So what do you do when you’re tired and discouraged? Do what God’s Word says in Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the day approaching.” No matter how tired or discouraged you may feel, something happens when you’re gathered with other believers in prayer. In Hebrews we are called to meet together all the more not less and less! I think I know who was trying to keep me from coming to prayer meeting Tuesday night! Thank goodness I didn’t listen to the enemy.