I will never forget hearing Elisabeth Elliott speak to missionaries gathered at Alliance Academy in Quito, Ecuador.
Perhaps you know her story told in the 2007 movie End Of The Spear. Elisabeth Elliott was a mother of nine months, married just three years when her husband, Jim, was killed in the Ecuadorian jungle attempting to make missionary contact with the Huaorani Indians. A lesser woman would have fled the Huaorani and Ecuador. Instead, Elisabeth learned the Huaorani language and three years later returned with her young daughter to minister to those who had killed her husband.
Marveling at her resilience I imagined she would share how the Lord had carried her when she could not walk. How the love of friends and family had sustained her through her darkest days, etc. etc. Instead she gave a locker room speech and quoted Isaiah 40! “Have you not known? Have you not heard?…The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary…He gives power to the weak and, to those who have not might He increases strength.” She said, as Christians we have no business falling into despair when stunned by the blows of life! When there is no one around to help keep you from succumbing to discouragement you have to, “Get a hold of yourself. Pick yourself up by the scruff of the neck, sit yourself down and remind yourself of God’s promises!” It is up to us, not our husbands or our wives, our pastors or friends to strengthen ourselves in the Lord.
How? How do I stop listening to my doubts, fears, worries and feelings and strengthen myself in the Lord?
One way is to deliberately shift my focus from the bad, begin hunting the good stuff and then writing it down for future reference. The good stuff that demonstrates: God is who He says He is; can do what He says He can do; and that I am who God says I am. As I begin journaling the good stuff, I strengthen my soul and am able, as Elisabeth Elliott exhorts, to follow the command, not the suggestion of Christ to, “Let not your heart be troubled”. (John 14:1)