Writing Note: I have friends who are currently discouraged.
As I’m praying for them, I recalled one of the most insightful fables about the subject of discouragement.
As you read this, please join me in praying for my friends as well as any others you know who are discouraged.
Discouragement comes to us when we’ve seemingly tried with everything we possess, but no apparent progress is being made. Discouragement is most likely to pop up when we’ve been on a “two steps forward/one step back” escalator. It becomes easy to say or think, “What’s the use of even trying anymore?”
There is a fable that illustrates the danger of discouragement: Once Satan decided to have a garage sale. Included in this sale was a table with many of his tools of evil. Onlookers gathered around to gawk at the tools used by Satan to trap, blind, and capture the hearts of human beings. There were the hideous large tools he used to cause lust, hate, bitterness, and murder.
Lying beside these were other contraptions used to entice man through greed, jealousy, and deceit. Over on a table by itself was the tool that Satan had put the highest price tag on. This tool was not only the most expensive but also the smallest by far. It was a simple wooden wedge about the size of a man’s hand.
A shopper inquired as to why this small tool seemed to be the most expensive.
Satan picked it up and gazed at it longingly. “This is my best tool. It’s the wedge of discouragement. When none of my other tools can be used to get into a person’s heart, this wedge works wonders. I use it to pry open the door. Once the wedge of discouragement gets the door open, then I can use my other tools to have my way.”
This allegorical tale illustrates a true fact: discouragement can lead to all kinds of pitfalls.
Logan Skiles was a beloved pastor of our church in Dry Creek. He’d often comment at the end of a service, “I wonder if there might be a discouraged Christian here today?”
The answer to that is there are always discouraged Christians when “two or three are gathered . . . “
Jesus’ words were directed at the heart of such a one.
“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden . . . and I will give you rest. “