by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Psalm 16:8, ESV
I remember the week I wanted to quit the ministry. (As a pastor’s wife, I haven’t quite figured out what that means, except that it’s a low point of discouragement and sometimes it feels good to say “I want to quit.”) My husband and I had just met with a couple from our church who listed the ways we had let them down over the past couple years. As I sat there, listening to how we’ve disappointed them and anticipating that they would leave the church for such reasons, I was feeling frustration, pain and anger. As I drove away from that appointment in a separate car, I cried out to God, and told him how I felt.
“God I don’t want to do this anymore!” I yelled through tears. “I don’t want my husband to sit through one more meeting and hear how he has let someone down. I’m tired of pouring out, because everyone just takes and takes and leaves in the end.
That’s how I was feeling: I have nothing left to give and everyone eventually leaves, anyway. But in prayer, I was reminded of the facts: God can fill me up again and He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).
Instantly, God spoke to the recesses of my heart: I went to the cross for you. And in light of what I did for you, do you know how many times you have disappointed Me? Do you realize how many times you have failed to meet My expectations? And yet, I have never left. And I never will.
In the moment my heart received that truth, everything changed. I remembered Whom I am serving: The One who will never leave. It was all about the facts (that He is a faithful God and worthy to be served) and not my feelings (that it’s hard sometimes and I just want to quit). My prayer of complaint turned to praise: God, I can’t do this, but You can. And I will gladly serve You because of what You have done for me.
When my feelings lead me down a dark tunnel of despair, I know now to switch on the light of what I know about God to find my way back out.
Psalm 16:8 gives me clarity and helps me focus on the facts of Who God is, rather than on what I feel. “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8, ESV).
Thank You, Lord, that You do not shift and change along with my feelings or circumstances. You are the Rock. Steady. Constant. Persevering. Thank You, too, that You promise to never leave.
About the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer, national speaker, and certified writing coach who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of several books including When Women Long for Rest, When You’re Running on Empty, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.
What Readers are Saying about When You’re Running on Empty: “Truly, there is not a woman out there who cannot relate to When You’re Running on Empty.” – Cheryl M. Anderson, Director of Women’s Ministry, Morrill Baptist Church, Morrill, ME
Join the conversation: What fact about God encourages you when you are feeling discouraged?