The crack

A few months ago, we thought about moving to a different house—one with a flat backyard and a wider area on the main floor for entertaining. The realtor we met at one of the houses we viewed offered to look at our house to give us an estimate of its value (what we can expect to get for it) and to give us advice on how we could sell it.

When he came into our house, he looked at the living room and kitchen. He mentioned how people are looking for an open concept (which we have) and a large ranch (again, which we have). He felt that if we put our house on the market then it would be sold right away since it was a property that was very desirable and in a good neighborhood.

Then he told us some of the things we could do to make it more marketable. He mentioned little things like de-clutter, take pictures off the wall, etc.  He said one of the big things he noticed was the large crack in the ceiling of the den. I took a good look at it—the crack had become so much bigger than what it was originally. It used to be a thin line, hardly noticeable, but now it runs across the whole ceiling and is slowly coming down along the wall. When did that happen?

It made me think about how our spiritual life can be like that crack in the ceiling. For instance, we neglect to do little things such as read our Bible, and then we neglect to pray. After a while we start missing worship services—maybe just one every couple of months, but then it becomes more frequent. Or maybe there’s a temptation that we’ve been resisting, but one day we decide to try it “just this once.” The one time turns into a multitude of times.

James 1:14-15 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death” (NLT). We don’t always notice when we have “veered from the path” or when we have “fallen away.” We convince ourselves that it’s “not that bad,” then compare our situation to those that are far worse. As a result, our lives become less joyful and we start to experience problems that were not there before. 

Take a good look at your life— has the “crack” in your life become bigger?  Don’t ignore the issue anymore. Run to God!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
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What can I do when I am discouraged?

I’ve been very discouraged for the past few days. It has made me question many things about me and my abilities. I’ve been discouraged before, but it seems like it is worse now than it’s ever been before. I am almost discouraged from reading God’s Word, but that’s how the devil would like for me to react.

I thought about some of the ways I can combat discouragement:

  1. I need to run to God— “The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10)
  2. I need to read His Word even more— “…the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled” (Romans 15:4)
  3. I need to be strong— “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you…” (Isaiah 41:10)
  4. I need to stay focused—“…after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (1 Peter 5:10)
  5. I need to remember that everything that happens is part of God’s plan—“…God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28)

Even though I am still very much discouraged, I feel hopeful after reading these Scripture verses. I need to keep pressing forward despite feeling discouraged. I know deep in my heart that God will take care of me, but my present circumstances seem to cloud everything.

I know that He wants what is best for me and I know that He will not lead me in the wrong direction (“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you”—Psalm 32:8). I have to hold onto the promise in Deuteronomy 31:8, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

God, after reading these Scripture verses, I know that I just have to trust in You.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti