My dogs have some of the most resilient fleas I’ve ever seen. Seriously, nothing seems to kill or repel these critters, and believe me, I’ve tried. I cannot tell you the amount of money I’ve spent on sprays, applications, creams, soaps, dips and the like. I’ve tried everything from strong chemicals (which I truly dislike) to natural remedies. Someone told me that if I bathed the dogs in Dawn dish detergent I’d never see another flea. Well, that didn’t work at all! I found information in a book and on several websites that declared the fleas would not invade an animal that was taking Vitamin B supplements. But after months of supplementation, my dogs had fleas worse than ever. They simply won’t go away, and they’re driving me crazy. But even more than that, they’re driving me to despair. Each time I bathe my poor pups or pull them aside for another flea combing, I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. After all, I’m doing all the right things. One would think I’d see some progress. But, no. Day after day, the fleas are still there, unlike my hope that we’ll ever be rid of the pesky creatures.
Have you ever experienced a similar situation? Perhaps not with fleas, but with some other area in which you feel you’re wasting your time, talent, money and energy. You go through the motions. You do the right things. You cling to the hope that one day all your hard work will pay off. But after a while, you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle and you ask yourself, “Why bother?”
If so, I have good news for you. God has given us a verse for just such an occasion. Isaiah 41:10 says, Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Fear not and be not dismayed. To be dismayed is to despair, to lose all hope and courage. Sound familiar? Isn’t that exactly what’s taking place when we grow weary of fighting the same battles over and over again? We lose hope. We despair of ever seeing fruit for our labor. We’re afraid that our efforts will never make a difference. And in that moment, we contemplate giving up. But notice God’s promise to us: I will strengthen thee. I will help thee. I will hold you up. Through His precious Word, God is reminding us that we’re never alone. Yes, we may have to face some of the same battles over and over again, but He is always there to help. He will give us the strength we need to carry on. He will stabilize us so that we don’t fall under the weight of our discouragement and frustration.
Whatever you’re facing today, remember that God is on your side. . . and He’s even more resilient than the fleas on my dogs!