Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott

ENCOURAGE Vol 12 No 15

June 11, 2013

Dear Friend,

What do you do when, as a friend of mine put it, “You feel so low that your rear end is erasing your own tracks!”?  How do you go about stirring up your own spirit when you are down?

After the Amalekites captured the families of David and his men, we learn:  “Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept, until they had no more strength to weep.” I Samuel 30:4*  David was feeling as low as a person can get!

Furthermore, “David was in great danger; for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in spirit for their sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” I Samuel 30:6 David focused on his Lord for strength and encouragement!

Teresa of Avila was a Carmelite nun of the sixteenth century who was asked by her superiors to write a book on prayer, which she didn’t feel like doing at all. “Few tasks… have been so difficult as this present one of writing about matters relating to prayer: for one reason, because I do not feel that the Lord has given me either the spirituality or the desire for it; for another, because for the last three months I have been suffering from such noises and weakness in the head that I find it troublesome to write even about necessary business.”

In other words, “I’ve been commanded to do this. I don’t feel qualified. I have a headache. I am not in the mood. It’s a hassle!” “But, as I know that strength arising from obedience has a way of simplifying things which seem impossible, my will very gladly resolves to attempt this task [She is encouraging herself in God].”

“Although the prospect seems to cause my physical nature great distress; for the Lord has not given me strength enough to enable me to wrestle continually both with sickness and with occupations of many kinds without feeling a great physical strain. May He Who has helped me by doing other and more difficult things for me help also in this: in His mercy I put my trust.” [1]

Encourage yourself in God! 

With joy - E. Stanley Ott
Copyright 2013 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NRSV

[1] Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, (New York, Image Book,) p.23