In eighth grade English class, our teacher assigned a paper in which we were to describe and discuss our life dreams. I wrote about attending Harvard, becoming an emergency room doctor, and writing a best-selling novel. Seems perfectly reasonable, right?
After she graded the papers, she pulled me aside and expressed her concern for one of my goals. Which one do you think she was worried about? I’d say the Harvard attendance. That’s pretty wild, but not the one. She was concerned about me writing a best-selling novel. Harvard was attainable. Being an ER doctor was encouraged. Writing a best-seller? Forget it.
She asked me why I thought I could be successful. Millions of people write, few get published, and even fewer sell enough copies to make the list. Why was I going to be one of the few? At the end of the conversation, she handed me the paper with a familiar smile. “Maybe you should set smaller goals so you’re not disappointed when you don’t achieve them.” She acted like she was doing me a favor.
At the time, I didn’t realize what she’d done to my spirit. I brushed it off, told myself she didn’t know what she was talking about. But when I started writing my novel, a little voice popped up, and I felt paralyzed. I wasn’t talented enough. I wasn’t smart enough. I would never be good enough. That little voice almost destroyed me.
In Psalm 138:3, it says when you cry out to the Lord, He’ll answer you, and He’ll make you bold. As the voice got louder, that’s exactly what I did. The voice is still there. It will always be there. But God took what little strength I had within my soul and made me bold.
I don’t know what adversity you face, but I know we all have at least one voice gnawing away at us. If you cry out to God, He’ll answer you. The adversity isn’t going to disappear, but God has the power to make you bold enough to overcome.
When someone tries to squelch the voice of encouragement, remember God can make you strong enough to turn down the volume.
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