Especially for the Discouraged Heart

Especially for the Discouraged Heart

“Come help me,” he said. So I did. We had an old rider lawn mower next to our shed that we needed to move, so we could pull something else into that space. The lawn mower doesn’t actually function. (We’re going to get it to the dump any year now.)

“All you have to do is sit down and steer while I push it forward,” he said.

We both noticed the pool of water in the seat after I splashed into it. “‘Sit down,’ you tell me.” Scathing look.

“Sorry,” he apologized. Charming look.

Then came him pushing and pushing. Going for gloves. Pushing some more. The mower had sat there so long that the front wheels were sunk down into the dirt.

“Doesn’t seem to be moving like it should,” he said. Turns out my legs were too short to push the clutch all the way down. Finally he ended up pushing the clutch and the lawn mower at the same time, while I steered -wet bum and all.

Messy business –moving something out of a hole.

That brings me to the place in which I found myself a few days ago. You know how you can be going along just fine and then suddenly you’re not? I had struggled for several days with technology frustration in my writing life (I’m too old for this new-fangled stuff.) Then someone spoke of a great success in just the place where I had been struggling, and I became that dead lawnmower –sidelined by discouragement.

Motor stopped.

Tires sunk in deep.

Discouragement was quickly followed by a strong desire to give up. (Those two feelings come in pairs like salt and pepper.) But I knew that both feelings were the enemy working on my mind.

I pushed back.

James tells us:

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  (James 1:12 NIV)

Perseverance means applying some muscle against giving up.

What I needed was a renewed sense of purpose, to act like a strong man with work gloves and a good hand on the clutch. I steered my mind toward verses that I’ve held onto in the past –verses that define what God has specifically called me to do. Despite technology challenges, God’s call on my life stays the same.

So if you’re in a discouraging situation and giving up sounds tantalizing, I encourage you to do three things:

  1. Don’t quit. Followers of Christ are clearly instructed to persevere through trials. Discouragement is normal. Giving up is unacceptable.
  2. Go to the Bible and find verses that define God’s purpose for you in your situation. Mentally grab on to the “why” of what you’re doing. Scripture truth will help rock you out of your hole.
  3. Talk to another follower of Christ and let him or her encourage your heart and pray for you.

And remember that God loves you.


  1. Allison McIntosh says:

    Thank you Christy! I’m reminded of a favorite quote from my pastor growing up. He said (as he was battling cancer), “when you don’t know what to do, do what you know to do!” And we know to do these things you have so eloquently spoke of. I desperately needed this reminder! Love from NC!!!

  2. Karie Welch says:

    I thank you for allowing God to use you in writing this post. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I often find myself in awe of how timely your posts are. God is working through you to encourage. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for your timely post! I especially appreciate #2. “Go to the Bible and find verses that define God’s purpose for you in your situation.” I have to work on not being discouraged when I am unable to say or do things that will convince family members to respond in a godly way to a trial. It’s important for me to continue to be available to talk and pray, but I have to let go of discouragement when/if they don’t always choose godliness. Thank you Christy for your encouragement!!

    1. I read somewhere that we have to be careful to define what is within God’s circle of responsibility and what is within ours. Maybe that’s a good thing to think about in your situation? I pray the Lord will help you know how to be a good influence in your family.

      1. Thank you for your prayers. It is not always easy to know where my circle of responsibilities ends and the Lord’s begins. And, it is different, obviously, with my spouse, adult children, and dependent children. I do quite a bit of praying myself for wisdom! Thank you again for your words of encouragement!

  4. I struggle with this all the time. Its like I’m digging myself a hole. I’m discouraged and then I don’t try and then I’m even more discouraged and then I feel like giving up… Thanks for this reminder to persevere through hardship. Have a wonderful day!☺

  5. This was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for your faithfulness in doing what God has called you to do. Just….thank you.

  6. Christy, you are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing with us…

Comments are closed.