For the last few weeks I've been distracted with what I think is a pulled muscle in my back. For a couple of days in particular, I felt pretty bad physically, and with that (at least in my case) came feelings of discouragement, woe-is-me, and irritation.
It seems that inevitably this kind of scenario arises when I have made commitments to other people, when it would really inconvenience others for me to withdraw. Admittedly, there are times when we have no choice and we must back away and give our sincere apology.
But maybe much of the time what we really need to do is to find a quiet place alone where we can read Scripture, pray, and then just think quietly. When the body is weak, sometimes a restoration of our spirit will lead the rest of our being to revive. It's amazing how that works.
I was sitting in my chair reading in Deuteronomy when the answer I needed hit me. Chapter 20, verse 1: When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do no be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.
While I was not facing a war or even an enemy, I was facing my own obstacles to a peaceful and productive day. I felt like defeat was almost inevitable. But this verse reminded me that God is with me. Because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit (God Himself) actually lives inside my body. He is, indeed, with me!
I thought about previous experiences when I have felt defeated. Had I only remembered that the ALL POWER of God was with me, the outcomes could have been so much different [better].
I also thought about previous experiences when I did remember God's intimate Presence with me, and how He sustained and aided me through it all.
Our "enemies" are not always invading military armies -- they can be physical illness, irritating circumstances, personalities that rub us wrong, rowdy children, noisy street pavers, interruptions, and many other things. But when we remember the Lord is with us, we can proceed knowing He's going before us and that it will be okay, however He allows it to go.
Time spent in solitude with God in Bible reading and prayer is never wasted. We need this more than food because our physical bodies are wasting away, but our spirit lives on for eternity. Defeat is inevitable when we neglect to feed that God-shaped vacuum within us.