Tag Archive: encouragement


Ladieeeees aaaaand gentlemen!

Welcome to the main event; the Suffering Weight Boxing championships!

In the red corner weighing 142 pounds, previously wealthy land and livestock owner and former father of ten.  The current Suffering Weight Boxing Champion, from right here in the land of Uz, please welcome Joooooooooooob!

His opponent in the blue corner weighting 143 pounds, one of three pitiful friends of Job.  The chief “comforter” from Teman, please welcome Eliphaaaaaaaaz!

Are you ready to rumblllllllllllllle?

Ding.
Ding.
Ding.

Chapter 15.  Round 2.

Eliphaz starts in again with his accusations, echoing the accusations he brought to the ring in chapter 4.  He didn’t bring any new moves or new punches.  He was a friend coming to Job armed with gloves of blame and mistrust.

Job returns the blows of condemnation from Eliphaz with strikes of emotion and anger.  Calling his friends, and rightly so, “worthless physicians” [Job 13:4] and “miserable comforters.” [Job 16:2]

I can relate to Job’s friends.  I am a miserable comforter.

A dear friend of mine has been recently diagnosed with an aggressive, stage 2 possibly stage 3, form of breast cancer.

When I heard of her diagnosis, I froze.

I longed to go to her but failed.  I wanted to support her but collapsed.  I desired to encourage her but gave up.  I ached to be there for her but fell short.  I had no words and couldn’t process the news, so I didn’t.

I didn’t go to her.  I didn’t cry with her.  I didn’t comfort her.

I didn’t.

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us… if it is encouraging, let him encourage…”   Romans 12:4-6, 8 (niv)

I, like Job’s friends, just shook my head.

Job’s friends, typical guys, wanted to fix things.  They offered suggestions and accusations when all Job wanted was support, encouragement, a strong shoulder and an open ear.

“But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief.”   Job 16:5 (nlt)

Sometimes there aren’t words.

I don’t have the words to comfort my friend, because I have never been in her shoes.  I don’t know what she’s going through so I can’t possibly tell her so, but I can sit quietly, wrap her in silence and learn from her.

Sometimes we aren’t supposed to fix things.

I can’t give my friend the medicine she needs or take the pain from her, but I can offer my time, my hugs, my tears, my prayers and my love.

“A friend loves at all times…”   Proverbs 17:17

What kind of friend are you?

 

Have you ever questioned God’s plan for your life?  That, like Moses, perhaps He’s got the wrong guy?

“But he said, ‘Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.'”   Exodus 4:13

That He should use someone who is smarter, speaks more eloquently, is more qualified, more prepared, has more money…

God’s Word tells us that He does not make mistakes.

Ever.

He knew your every moment even before He formed you in the womb.
“My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”   Psalm 139:15-16
He chose you and takes great joy in you.
“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”   Zephaniah 3:17
He chose you for a specific purpose.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”   Jeremiah 29:11

He will see you through.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”   Philippians 1:6

Breath of Heaven was written as “Mary’s song” but it applies to all of us who have doubts that we can live up to God’s plan for our lives…

Breath of Heaven – Amy Grant

I am waiting in a silent prayer.
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone,
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now.
Be with me now.

Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be forever near me, breath of Heaven
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness for You are holy
Breath of Heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of Your plan
Help me be strong, help me be
Help me

I am blown away.  My blog, these measly, amateur scribblings of how I see God working in my life, was mentioned yesterday in a Lovebug‘s take of her most favorite blogs to flutter to!  I am absolutely humbled and in awe.

Not an hour before, I wondered if God really wanted me to write. I have been trying to raise money to attend a writer’s conference for several months now.  God has helped me raise nearly 70% of the total funds needed, but the $300 still left to pay is due next Tuesday.

{gulp.}

Then I got news that the flexible spending account I had through my employer had been canceled and I no longer qualify for the program because my hours at work have been significantly reduced.  Due to this sudden change, any funds I put toward my account have been forfeited, and now any chiropractic, optical, or major dental work will have to be paid out of pocket.  An expense that was surely not planned or expected.

{gulp.}

That was it…I lost it.  All the money I’ve been putting into that account from my paycheck, money we could’ve used for groceries, gas, lots of other needs, was gone.  I began thinking that perhaps this is God telling me He doesn’t want me to go to the conference after all, especially when it’s going to cost even more money just to travel there, when we could be using that money for better purposes…instead of me chasing a crazy dream.

I voiced my concern to a friend of mine when God reassured me through her response: “The Benny card has nothing to do with the conference.  God knew this would happen and He knows how you will get to the conference.  It will just make it more awesome!”

Then, God placed a beautiful reminder on another friend’s Facebook page:

Then, a Lovebug’s encouragement in her post Hey all You Bloggers…: “I have met some awesome bloggers and it still amazes me with all the wonderful things I read and come across.”  She even mentioned that my blog was her “inspiration dosage.”

Unbelievable.

It is amazing how God works in our lives. How just at the right time He sends a word of encouragement through a friend,

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”   Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

unveils His artistry in a sunset,

comforts us in a hug,

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”   Psalm 46:1b

reveals His power in a storm,

smiles as we enjoy a warm cup of coffee,

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”   John 15:11

uncovers His creativity in a flower,

and laughs when we finally understand and are in shock and awe of His amazing love, provision, and grace.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”   James 1:17

I love writing, receive great joy in it, and would absolutely be satisfied to just write my prayers and share my silly little stories with my family and friends.

But I pray that God uses the stories He gives me to allow even one person to see Him in a new light; that His amazing love is revealed, that eyes are opened to the truth of His Word, that He is seen as colorfully and amazing as I see Him, and that He receives all the glory from it.

“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.”   Daniel 2:21-22

I Spy God writing a note

[IMAGE CREDIT]

This week I had a blank note card sitting on my counter, and because I was lazy and didn’t want to put it away, I decided to jot a little note on it to one of my dearest friends just to say hey and how ya’ doin’.  As I wrote, the note transformed into more of an encouragement letter than a greeting.

I apologized that I don’t live closer and wished that I could be there for her more when she needs a friend.  I was sorry that I haven’t been able to help strengthen her walk with the Lord and give her guidance through God’s Word when she needs it.  But I have been praying for her daily, and that’s all I was able to offer right now.

It became a note letting her know that even though she’s struggling she can always count on me and our God.  ANY TIME.

I read it over again and had second thoughts about sending it.  I didn’t know if she was struggling at all, and if she wasn’t this card would be kinda’ weird.  But…I also figured there’s a reason I wrote all that stuff, because it definitely wasn’t what I had originally planned to pen.  So, I sent it.

A couple days later I got an email:

“Thank you so much for the awesome card. That really made my day. I could go on and on if I had the time to tell you how much it means to me and all the things that have been happening that make me know that you are praying…that God is there with us every step of the way….there are so many things that pop in my head and then some how – an answer comes…through a song maybe on the radio (no kidding, the other day I was really worrying about something – I can’t remember what now of course and a song came on the radio (I only listen to 102.5) and it was amazing…I’ve never heard the song and it was like God was answering me!) I almost cried…amazing. Then I will have thoughts in my head and then…then…there’s your card.”

Oh, I praise God.  Even when we don’t realize He’s working through us…He is!!  I am so honored to serve such a loving, living, wonderful God, and I thank Him for using me!

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.”   2 Timothy 4:2

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