Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah, and made them afraid to build.... Ezra 4:4 NRSV
We are easily discouraged.
We make plans, start working, and truly have a hope and a prayer.
Then along comes the nay-sayers, the doubtful, the discouraging, the jealous and the down-right mean.
We begin to doubt.
We begin to be discouraged.
We begin to complain, make excuses, abandon our plans and just give up.
It really doesn't take much to put us off course, especially when we have been charged with something that is a challenge to accomplish.
We may even wonder what happened to God from the time we embraced our mission to when we became lost and confused.
God is still there. God still desires us to do God's work.
We are the ones who have let fear be our guide.
In the end, we discover that it is easier to give into fear than fight and stick with the plan given to us by God.
We need God's courage and determination in order to do what God is asking of us.
Give us this courage and determination always, God! We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.