We were so discouraged.

As a young married couple having enfolded our two single parent homes into one, our hopes and dreams had exceeded reality. So, when the harsh realization came in the form of illness and inability to work, we weren’t prepared to accept it.

How easy it was to not look to God as our refuge in this time of storm … at first.

The age-old “why” questions surfaced so easily.

Why are you letting this happen Lord?

We committed to serving you through our marriage and new family. You brought us together, why this setback?

What have we done to deserve this when we’re trying so hard to raise three boys and give them what they need?

I feel like the home we are creating is being attacked.

These were the kinds of questions that loomed larger than life each day of the struggle. My husband Ken had to move out of our house as his asthma was triggered by something there.

Tears flowed down my face easily and I didn’t know what to do. Now I was handling home life alone with our three young boys while my husband lived with friends until we could figure out our dilemma.

One day, our pastor paid me a visit.

He suggested that perhaps I was looking for God through my circumstances instead of looking at my circumstances through God’s perspective.

That thought really shook me up.

I repented of my attitude and was met by his word the following Sunday when a deacon got up to share Isaiah 61:3, a Scripture that, till then, I had never connected with. But the fiery ashes that set off life-threatening asthma in my husband was now being confronted by God’s Word.

“To give them beauty for ashes. The oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Suddenly, that spirit of heaviness — that awful discouragement — lifted as I knew the Lord would see us through and he would be glorified through it all.

Recently, I heard a saying attributed to Dr. Howard Hendricks in which he taught that discouragement is the anesthetic Satan uses on a person before he reaches in and carves out his heart.

Are we being anesthetized by discouragement? Are we wallowing in the mire of it allowing it to slowly devour us?

Look up … your help comes from the Lord. Praise him and watch discouragement flee.

Selah