The shadow of disappointment and despair can never linger in a heart that clings to Christ. 

The little red pen that snuck into the washing machine, a broken toilet and kitchen sink, several meltdowns due to an Autistic child that just cannot wrap her precious mind around interpersonal relationships, discomforting news from the Doctor’s office and a very hormonal teenage daughter were just a few of the circumstances that blanketed my week with depression and gloom.

The daily challenges of being a missionary momma weighed in on me as well.  Desperate parents yelling at the gate in the middle of the night with a sick newborn begging for medicine, a boy with an infected finger needing cream and band aids, wide eyed hungry children looking for something to eat, and the narco violence that we are becoming too accustomed to. You would think that these things alone would drive anyone into depression. But this was not why I was struggling.

What really through me into despair were matters of the heart.  Words that should not have been spoken, deeds that should not have been done,  misunderstandings that led to hurt feelings, and miscommunication ending in anger, those were the things that threw my heart into anguish and left me feeling separated from family, friends and most importantly God.

While reminiscing over the horrible events of the week and how I responded to them, I heard His still small voice speak healing to my weary soul.  I was reminded of an event that I had happened by during the course of the week.

I had been driving around town, I caught sight of a man digging.  Standing in a ditch about the depth of his chest, this man seemed very busy with the task at hand.  Although he was working very hard, he wasn’t making any progress.  Weary groans arose from the pit as dirt and pebbles were scattered into the air.  Some of the dirt landed around the side of hole but the majority of it landed right back on top of his exhausted shoulders.

He didn’t seem to notice and kept working, scooping, digging, excavating his way further down, and covering himself with more and more of what he had been trying to get rid of in the first place.  This was clearly not a very well thought out plan, or if it had been in the beginning it was certainly lacking the follow-through.  Never looking up, this man couldn’t even see that he was practically burying himself alive in absolute filth.

When we are in the midst of difficulties we can tend to wrap them in exaggerated words of lament because we long for a sense of commiseration and empathy from those around us.

The shadow of disappointment and despair can never linger in a heart that clings to Christ.  Even during the most painful circumstances, God calls us to wrap them in the attitude of a grateful heart and lay them submissively at His feet.  We find rest for our burdened hearts when we bring Him praise in any and every situation.  Yet, often times when we are in the midst of difficulties we can tend to wrap them in exaggerated words of lament because we long for a sense of commiseration and empathy from those around us.

Looking back on the man in the pitiful pit, I am reminded of my own selfish ways.  How many times I have tossed the crud of my personal complaints onto those precious people around me.  How often have I left them fleeing for their lives as my ungrateful gunk splatters around them?  Then there are the times that I allow myself to get trapped within the walls of my self-made prison and in my despair forget to look to the Heavens from whence comes my help.  Worst of all are the many times I have left the plan He has carefully laid out for my life and not followed through because, in vain, I think my plan is better.

We give Him glory most when we take our burdens and grant them the welcome of a quiet and submissive spirit.  Wrapping our painful circumstances in the devotion of a grateful heart for His daily grace is the only thing that can bring us the true comfort that we desperately need.

I am reminded yet again of the woman in the Gospel of Mark, who pushed through the masses in a final  desperate attempt to reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.  She believed that if she could she would receive His comforting and healing touch.  He turned, time stopped, eyes met, words were spoken, and the healing that no earthly person could give her, was granted because of her faith.  Amazing.

{This is an excerpt taken from one of the journals of my time in Mexico 2011}


Stasia is mother to six beautiful children and wife to a dedicated, loving husband.
They have served as a family together on the mission field on four continents for nearly 29 years. 
Stasia’s passion is to share in true colors the grace of God in her life. 
You can read more about her and the ministry of the Women’s Bible Cafe here.
Meet Missionary Mom and Ministry Leader Stasia Nielsen
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