Hello there! This post is part of a 31-Day writing adventure I’m now halfway through! Woop woop!  I’d love for you to meet up ’round here and read along. You can find the introduction to the series, and a “Table of Contents” as each day goes live, right here. Thanks so much for dropping in!

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This morning I woke up to the sound of some unpleasant voices. None of them were speaking out loud — it was all an unpleasant cacophony swirling around inside my brain.

You see, yesterday, perhaps sometime mid-morning, this cheeky little itch of a sore throat started and I immediately began preparing for the worst, thinking I’ll be practically knocked out with this unpleasant sickness for a week or two, with only enough energy to barely make it through each day, getting the minimal amount of work done around the house.

By last night the cheeky little itch was a full-blown OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW sore throat with a runny nose quickly joining the party. The Tank began coughing suddenly, and fervently, and the Hubs had a full-blown OWWWWW sore throat, too. {The Bear never seems to struggle with the colds the rest of the family gets!}

It was an okay night at the Collie house, with a couple of sleep interruptions but nothing major, but when I woke up this morning, feeling poorly and knowing the Hubs would be away shooting a wedding today, the voices set in, ready to begin whispering discouragement to my every attempt at even getting out of bed.

Here goes another rough day. Hope you can get through it.

Mark’s not going to be here and I have a sick kid to deal with.

You’re trying to do more than you’re capable of. You’re going to have to back off of something.

I wonder how long this sickness will last this time?

Needless to say, I didn’t really want to get out of bed.

Yesterday, I mentioned the fact that the sheep know their shepherd’s voice, and we, the sheep of the Good Shepherd, will know His voice by spending time in His presence.


And all of those sentences listed up there? They don’t sound anything like His voice. Some of them have surely come from my own soul in its discouraged state, and others are straight from the pit, where the enemy of my soul (and yours) prowls about like a roaring lion, hoping to devour the destiny God has planned for you.

What does the Voice of the Lord say instead?

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze. {Isaiah 43:2}

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. {John 16:33}

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. {Hebrews 12:1-3}

What does all this mean?

First, the Shepherd doesn’t promise the absence of adversity. Bumps on the track are likely. But the Shepherd does promise His presence in the midst of adversity. Second, we don’t have a God who hasn’t walked through adversity. Considering the example of Jesus, and what he endured, let’s take heart when we’re met with opposition and discouragement. He has already made it through — He can coach us to make it, too!

Hope has a name — and that name isn’t our president’s, it’s our King’s.

No matter what the other voices are whispering, what the circumstances in the world around you make you want to believe, we will overcome if we learn to listen to the Voice, as He can enable us to walk through anything for our good and His glory.

Whatever it is that’s in your heart, that you deeply sense you were created to do, it’s going to be met with opposition and there are going to be days of discouragement. You and I CANNOT allow the voices of discouragement to turn into the excuses that determine the course of our life — and run it off the course that God marked out for us.

When discouragement starts whispering, friends, run as fast as you can into His presence, soaking up the Truth that He says about who you are — and most important, who He is and ever shall be. Let discouragement become an unexpected gift that pushes you to focus even more on finding the Presence and hearing the Voice of your Savior.

Whether it’s a catastrophe or a head cold — He is with you, and He is gloriously good.