Challenge 2: Encourage the Ultra Miserable

I wish he were not so much like me, at least the way I used to be, my oldest son who frets when the day’s troubled events outweigh the ones he sees as good. He whines, complains, and then, with balled fists anchored by his thighs, huffs like an angry bull determined to take revenge on those who got in his way. And the day was full of stuff and people getting in his way: slow understanding and completing of math work; basketball teammates who wouldn’t pass the ball; preschool brothers fussing and shouting and running and asking and begging; and no naps. And I understand his frustration: my laundry’s half done, the entire house half clean and preschool sons rose earlier than expected, fussing and shouting and running and asking and begging; and no naps. But I chose to look toward the joy set before me—bedtime, a time God has prepared for me to unwind. And I laugh to help me stay sane before my rest comes, knowing laughter does the heart good like medicine and I need a constant cure for the unrelenting bustle of the day.

I share my remedies with my son, whose huffing has subsided but his gloom talk remains: “Everything is wrong with me. Nothing is right. I’m always a snail” and other all-inclusive words to describe “This is the worst day ever!” The more I seek to get him to see the glass as half full he insists it’s half empty. Now he has frustrated me and I tell him that I will let him mope, I can’t cope with his pitiful self and I’m set to jet but I remember how Jesus handled Peter and his nonsense: “Satan, get thee behind me” (Matthew 16:23). He knew that Peter’s talk was coming from Satan and spoke to the person behind the one he saw. This is what I did and jolted Josh back to the reality that we all have bad days that don’t change that we are still fearfully and wonderfully made, that our gifts and calling are irrevocable and joy comes in the morning. So we meditated and praised our way to the truth. Now when he tries to return to that dark place, he has what it takes to light his way.

Take a Risk Challenge: Encourage someone who is ultra miserable by helping them see what God’s word has to say about them. Bearing with them truly is a radical act of love.

My One Thousand Gifts List

Deciding to use the quiet time to cook instead of using it all to veg out
Watching Justus in Flynn’s arm and eating Flynn’s dinner
Justus sleeping through the night for a week straight and going to bed most nights without nursing
Justus hugging Nate to comfort him
Karen saying how much she loved my Cooking with Rhonda video
Vince being so selfless in helping me download my cooking video
Hearing God agree that “I can’t do this” and that was my issue—counting on my strength
Tabitha arriving earlier than expected
Not fretting over what to wear to speak at L.I.F.T.
Not worrying about not being able to practice my message again

4 thoughts on “Challenge 2: Encourage the Ultra Miserable

  1. I truly identify with you. There are days when I am so aware of my own personal failures and they can get the better if me. I am learning to process my flaws in the big picture. I need to give them enough credence to create a desire for change but not enough to feel condemned. Thank you for this reminder to have joy in every moment. Great post.

    • Renee,

      I love what you said about your flaws: “I need to give them enough credence to create a desire for change but not enough to feel condemned.” Yes, we need to know when we are crossing the line into condemnation because here is where we fall into hopelessness. Thanks for reading, commenting and complimenting. I appreciate them all.

  2. Good one, Rhonda. As much as I’m called to love others beyond their flaws, the more radical act for me is to love myself beyond my miserable moments, worries of a bad day, rough rut, etc. By at least trying to remember that I’m “fearfully and wonderfully” made, I can reclaim a little of my balance and get back to shining the way God designed.

    Thanks for the reminder. Gonna whip it out during my next bad day! 🙂

    • Thanks, Nik. Yes, self love is, I believe, the most radical act of love we can display. That’s why I thought it was fitting to start these challenges off with having us keep gratitude journal, which I called a radical act of self love. We can be so hard on ourselves to the point of condemnation. When we get to that point we aren’t good for ourselves or anyone else. You said it best about HOW we can be empowered to love ourselves: by remembering that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” God’s design!

      Thanks for chiming in, my friend. I always appreciate your thoughts.

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