How many of y'all are in the middle of waiting for it? You have worked so hard, so long, and it just feels like you are stuck. Do you keep persevering or get discouraged and quit? You feel the longing for more, the longing for break thru, but are so tired. I want to share a little story to encourage you today.
My son, Asher is a passionate soul. Recently, a friend of ours had the insight to light the fuse of entrepreneurship that is tightly woven in God's design of Asher. He encouraged him to start a pressure washing business for a little summer job. Here is where a fun idea can become discipleship. Zach didn't just throw a big idea at Asher then leave it at that, he found a kid entrepreneur book and bought it for him, he dreamed with him, he rented a pressure washer and paid Asher to clean his deck. He invested in Asher. Whenever we are all together, they will at some point huddle in a corner and dream of clean driveways. Zach has endless patience to talk out different nozzle attachments, surface cleaners, and PSI. I doubt Zach could care less about pressure washers, but he cares about Asher, so he cares. He pours biblical values of integrity, hard work, and endurance into my 12 year old son's heart.
The first hurdle was that we don't actually own a pressure washer. We had amazing friends who let us borrow one and we gave Asher free reign to clean around our house, to practice, to learn. We wondered if the reality of summer heat would prove this to be a flash bang passion. Instead, he was lit up! We had other friends who were so generous. They offered to let him use their small pressure washer. After talking it out, we told Asher he could either rent it from them or he could offer to do their driveway as a trade. We wanted him to learn the value of hard work and ingenuity, not to be handed everything
As a family we have been watching the TV series, The Chosen. It depicts Jesus life on earth in the most amazing way. When he calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John to follow Him, He finds them absolutely discouraged. They had worked hard and caught no fish. Jesus looks at Peter and tells him to cast his nets again.
Discouragement is a mean beast, isn't it? It tells us all kinds of lies about ourselves. It wreaks havoc on our minds, our hearts, our families. It's a bottomless hole unless we choose to deny it's power. That day of discouragement, Peter denied it's power and cast his nets one more time. It was AFTER a decision and AFTER an action that Jesus overwhelmed Peter with the miracle of more fish than he could contain. I wonder how many of us are one decision, one action away from being overwhelmed with miraculous blessings? How many scriptures encourage us to not give up, to not loose hope, to keep our eyes on Jesus, to persevere? We KNOW this life will be challenging. We know the temptation of the enemy is to become discouraged, and we KNOW we have been commanded to not give in to the temptation. But we are allowed to choose....
Last week, Brad dropped a very nervous Asher off at a stranger's house to do his first job for someone he doesn't know. A couple of hours into it, the surface cleaner he had researched and bought with his own money broke, it started to storm, and he called me in tears. When I picked him up, he just fell apart. The task was too big. The job was overwhelming. The little pressure washer he had worked so hard to trade for was not up to the task of being used for a business. He was done. He wanted to quit He said he was going to finish the jobs he had promised then never pressure wash again. I let him be sad. I know that feeling so well. I understand the highs and lows of a passionate heart. But when we got home, much like Brad has done time after time for me, I started dreaming with him again. He regrouped, added up how much money he had made and was promised. He realized he was still over a hundred dollars away from being able to buy the pressure washer he wanted, so he would just have to keep working until he had the money. We took him back to finish the job he felt like he had failed. We encouraged him to use the resources he had, even if it wasn't ideal and to finish with integrity.
Here's what Asher didn't know. Months ago, when he had first shown interest in pressure washing, Brad's dad called and offered to buy him one. We decided to hold off on that extravagant gift and make sure this was something he would want to do long term. We decided that handing him a treasure before he had dug for it would rob him of the bigger joy later. We let him work hard, let him figure things out, we let him struggle. That may shock some of you. Some of you may be horrified that we let him go through what he did when we had every resource to prevent it. But you weren't there to see Asher when Brad's dad called and told him of his gift. Instead of feeling happy, he was euphoric. Instead of being given a pressure washer to start a business, he had the experience to fully be blown away with how generous this gift was!
As his parents, we chose to withhold giving him everything he would need until he made the choice, and did the work. We let him find out that he has integrity, he has perseverance, he is a hard worker, and has the ability to overcome challenges and big feelings. Then we opened the door of huge blessing. Sure we could have given him the dream pressure washer when it was a whim, a baby dream, but what would it have cost him? He is stronger than he ever would have been. He is wiser, he is scrappier, he is more appreciative. When faith is made sight, we rarely lament that we didn't have it sooner. We have gained so much from the process that we have the wisdom to be thankful for the hard.
My encouragement today is do not be discouraged! Trust that the Father who loves you more than life itself knows when it's time to open the door to blow you away with His blessings! Walk in His commands until then. Take your thoughts captive and choose what you agree to believe. He is faithful and true! He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called to His purpose.
Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go."