The Doldrums

It’s official.
I’m in the doldrums.
The “doldrums” are a flat sea. There is no wind in the sail. You drift aimlessly, unable to get the ship to do your bidding. The doldrums are an unpleasant place to be. Ironically, another word for it is “becalmed” – and to be perfectly honest with you - “calm” is not a word that I would use to describe how I feel. I often feel grey and house-bound at this time of year but, at the moment, I am also discouraged.
I do not want to write about this. “Who wants to read about my financial difficulties?” I told my mother. “Who wants to read about discouragement?” I told myself. My sister said “People appreciate honesty.”
I wrote “Reading and Weeping” and “Whatever it takes?” about a month or two ago and we were already experiencing this struggle. By then I knew that it was not going to be resolved quickly, and I was fighting God over it a little bit.
I have done home daycare for about seven years. Because we moved, I had to close my old daycare and re-open in our new location. That means Promotion. In all of these years I have never had to seek out families for my daycare.  For the first time, I have had to promote my business – and I am finding that I am not good at it! 
For the three months that I have not been “working” we have been digging ourselves a hole. We don’t use Credit (praise God) or we would be racking up a “line” to kingdom come! It’s just that there is no more Peter to rob in order to pay Paul. They are all standing there with their hands out.
I rack my brain trying to think of what I could do to help the family finances – my husband is doing all he can already. Short of selling a child, I can think of…
What is God doing? Why is He withholding this work from me? I know that God is allowing this in our lives because of odd little inconveniences that have occurred to keep us here, but what I want to know is WHY? WHY? WHY?
Should I give up my comfortable daycare job for something else? What else?
Is He going to send us a huge trial and I need to have all of my time freed up for that?
You can see where my imagination takes me.

This morning I came across a quote from C.S. Lewis’ book “A Grief Observed” which he wrote (under the pseudonym N.W. Clark) after his wife died of cancer.
“Meanwhile, where is God? This is one of the most disquieting symptoms. When you are happy, so happy that you have no sense of needing Him, so happy you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be – or so it feels – welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other hope is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become. There are no lights in the windows. It might be an empty house. Was it ever inhabited? It seemed so once. And that seeming was as strong as this.”
I understand.
Martha experienced this frustration, too. (The story can be found in John chapter 11.) Her brother Lazarus was sick so she sent for Jesus - she knew His power to heal. Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." Then Jesus chose not to come until after Lazarus died.
Martha met Jesus with anger, “Lord,” she scolded, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died.“  Then, with the trust of someone who knew to Whom she was speaking, she said, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."
Martha was frustrated. She did not understand. She had gone to the Only One who could do something about it and He had not come through for her.
Yet she still trusted Him.
I am not waiting for a miracle that big – I just need a paycheck!  If He can raise someone from the dead, surely He can do this for me - And maybe, just maybe, He is doing something great in my life that will bring Him glory!


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