Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…


“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9 (ESV)


“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 

I Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)


“See, the Lord your God has given you the land.  Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your fathers, told you.  Do not be afraid:  do not be discouraged.” 

Deuteronomy 1: 21 (NIV)


            It’s another beautiful morning outside, as it has been for the past few days, even though it’s been a bit overcast—inside.  I think most of you know me well enough to know that I try to shoot straight with you.  Well, I’ve been going through something that has been a bit discouraging.

            You’ve been there.  Maybe you’re there now.  Where no matter which way you look, it’s hard to see the sunshine on the other side of the rain.  And to make it worse, you’re often surrounded by voices of doubt or discouragement which seem louder than the voices of encouragement God wants you to hear.  You want to throw your hands in the air in despair and defeat sometimes and just quit.  I’ve been there, even if you haven’t.  And that option had crossed my mind in the past few days.

            Until that is—God sent a reminder—which in my better moments I know to be true—that He was still in control.  And he did it, as He so often does for me, through one of my Granddaughters.  They were spending the night with us a few days ago, and while we were putting them to bed, our younger Granddaughter, Ellie Kate, asked to say prayers for both her and her older sister, Hannah.

            Among other things like thanking God for a beautiful day, and for her sister, and other remembrances of things she was thankful for, here was a part of what she then prayed:

            “And Jesus, if Satan is talking in your ear, just flick him off your shoulder!”

            There it is—the remedy for discouragement when you want to throw in the towel and quit.  And in Ellie Kate’s view, even Jesus needed an occasional reminder.  Just flick the voices of defeat and discouragement off your shoulder.  Don’t let them have a place to stand to be able to whisper their message of doom, defeat and discouragement in your ear.  Instead, replace them with a message of encouragement, hope and victory for today, for this moment, and for whatever you’re going through.

A number of years ago that great Polish pianist and composer, Ignace Paderewski, was to perform at a great concert in Philadelphia.  It was the social highlight of the year, and men and women arrived dressed in their finest tuxedos and evening gowns.  It was truly a gala affair.  While the audience was arriving and milling down the aisles to their seats in the concert hall, a fidgety little boy wiggled free and worked his way down the aisle, unbeknownst to his mother who had turned to talk to friends, past the throngs of excited patrons, and down to the foot of the stage. 

The spotlights had been focused on the beautiful piano that stood on that stage for the long-awaited concert.  The young lad was drawn to that piano, and so he climbed up on that stage, up onto the piano stool and, to the shock of all assembled, began to play his own version of “Chopsticks.”  Those present began to murmur and shout:

“Who is that boy?”

“Where are his parents?”

“Get him off the stage and away from that piano!” 

Off stage, Paderewski had heard the commotion, and he walked out on stage, and walked up behind the little boy, and leaning down over him at the piano, he began to play the most beautiful melody around the tune the boy was playing.  And as he did, he whispered in that little boy’s ear:

“Don’t stop, keep going, don’t quit, I’ll stay right here by your side.” 

And that’s what the Master, Jesus Christ, is saying to each one of us as we awake to a brand new day in our lives, weighed down at times with discouragement, disappointment, a sense of defeat, and facing the uncertainty of tomorrow: 

“Don’t stop, keep going, don’t quit, I’ll stay right here by your side.” 

And He will.  All the way back to hope and on to victory! 

So, in the quiet of your mornings and in the noisiness of your days, listen for that still small voice of God saying “don’t stop, keep going, don’t quit” and offering the promise that “He’ll stay right here by your side.”  And He will. 

But if you should happen to find the voices of defeat and discouragement talking too loudly in your ear, then take a lesson from the prayer of a brilliant six-year-old who, along with her older sister, blesses my life every day, and…“just flick him off your shoulder!”

It works.  I feel better already.

You will too, listening to and walking with the Master.


                                                            In His Name—Scott


Copyright 2010.  Scott L. Whitaker.  All rights reserved.