It hit a few days ago. We had been rolling pretty well with each new announcement about death tolls, reported cases, unemployment numbers, re-opening forecasts. But something was different today. My usually optimistic and “take the hill” husband was feeling the weight of his calling.  This calling to love, lead, guard, protect, and challenge to new growth – this Body that God had led him to shepherd was feeling like a task way beyond him. The “What Ifs” were mounting and becoming louder. And I know that it is in these moments, that I need to wage the war against his discouragement on my knees.

So I pray. I pray against the enemy. I pray for the Spirit to pour new courage into his weary soul. I pray that our Jesus would draw close – that He would bless Him with His presence in a way that focuses his eyes and restores his confidence in the One who will lead us through, just as He has led us through all of those deserts and across those raging rivers in the past.

But then, I realize there are two more things I need to do. The first is quite serious while the second is funny.

First, I need to ask him our question. When he gets in this place of discouragement, there is little I can do to talk him out of it. He has already weighed all of the information, so bringing up new pieces is futile. He’s already told himself, no shouted to himself, truth about who God is and how He is faithful. There is little about his Lord I can remind him of that he hasn’t already reminded himself.

But I can ask our question.

“What do you fear most?”

When he is able to articulate what he fears most, it defangs the serpent. That scary thing is brought into the light where Truth can shine on it and reveal how very powerless it is. I don’t have answers or solutions. But I can ask the question that creates the space for the Spirit to pour that courage I prayed for into his soul.

And then I get out the pom poms. I remind him of his calling. That God has built him for this. That God will lead him in all of these decisions that are weighing so heavy, big and small. I remind him that I am on his team… and will always be his biggest cheerleader.