I Just came back from a river-fishing trip with a friend. It was a beautiful morning to be on the water. This time of year, the early morning is usually the best because the heat really picks up about mid-morning. This day was no different. By 10:30, our hopes were fried, along with our back and neck. But even before that, the action was minimal at best. We caught a few small ones, but never really got into the smallmouth population we had hoped for. It seems the last few times we have went, we have left with the same results. We have fun. We love the comradery. The outdoors is beautiful. But the fishing has been disappointing. After three times on the same float, discouraging. The thoughts of doing it again? Depressing. And that is the way it works in other parts of our lives as well. More important parts.
All of us get disappointed. To be disappointed means that an appointment has been missed or lost. This simply means that some things we expected to happen, didn’t. As long as we have any expectations whatsoever, we all will have disappointments. Being disappointed continually can lead to a deeper problem. Discouragement. It is the loss of courage. It’s saying, since I have been disappointed so much, I am no longer confident in anything good happening. I have lost the courage to continue down the same path I’ve been going. If one remains without courage long enough, he becomes depressed. Depression is when life has seemingly been squeezed out. Life has been pressed from us. Many of us know what each of these feels like. Some linger longer in discouragement and depression. Some suffer in ways that the rest of us cannot imagine. That’s why it is so important for us to encourage one another. Because, while disappointments are universal and even come from strong faith, discouragement comes from its lack. That’s why throughout the scriptures, we are continually told to “be of good courage.” And that is also why we are to be people of “Encouragement.” The “en” means to cause. It simply means we are to cause courage in other people. The temptation to lose courage can come from a lot of things, but it always starts with fear of the unknown. It can be the unknown about a job, a sickness, a death, or the next move. This is the predicament of everyone around us. And while I may not have the answer they need, I can choose to cause courage to come into their lives by my words and actions. When you think of the favorite people of your past – the teachers, friends, family members, neighbors; they are your favorite because they believed you could do anything. They instilled courage. They didn’t ignore your problems or difficulties, they just believed the greatest partnership known to man was you and God.
Gary has three books that are compilations of the articles he has written for nearly 15 years. He also speaks at game dinners and men’s groups for churches and associations.
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DISCLAIMER: The views, beliefs and opinions expressed in this article, Outdoor Truths, are those of Gary Miller and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs or opinions of Courageous Christian Father. Outdoor Truth’s is a syndicated article published in various newspaper and online sources and has been used on Courageous Christian Father with permission from Gary Miller. #OutdoorTruths
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Gary began pursuing his desire to write a newspaper column to hunters and fishermen that would lead them to contemplate their relationship with their Creator. The column was picked up by two newspapers. After these many years now, it covers much of the country not only through several newspapers but also through regional magazines and online. His writing provided opportunities to speak to these same hunters and fishermen at events such as Beast Feasts. The results were men giving their lives to Christ.
Even though he was not raised in a hunting or fishing home, Gary has followed his heart to the water and woods since he was a child. What started on the banks of the local canal catching carp, now extends to every part of his life as he aims outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen toward Christ.