My dear readers, I come to you this morning with a very sore heart. I feel like someone just pummeled my heart with their words last night. In truth, it just made me hurt. In a few small words, it felt as if they completely devalued the sacrifices of my time (precious time away from my family), my talents (which I pour in to the point of exhaustion) and my treasures (the dollars which have flowed from my pocket into little holes here & there).
I woke up this morning doubting and wondering things like this…”Am I good enough to keep going?”…”Should I resign and walk away?”…”Why do I give so much?”…”How could they say that?”…”Don’t they see?”…
As one of my beloved southern friends would say at this point if she was in my shoes, “Y’all, I just need some encouragement.”
The thought in and of itself just brought a smile to my face. Yet, in my silly and frustrated mind I started questioning, can I really ask for encouragement? Can I make it known that emotionally I am weak right now? Can I really share that my heart is just hurting? Can I let those tears roll out and carry with them the yuck that was verbally thrown at me?
Then I imagined one of my dear and beloved friends calling me or sitting across from me or standing next to me. I instantly thought, of course I would want my treasured friend to tell me that she needed some encouragement. I know that I can get so wrapped up in myself sometimes that I need to see that flare for help shot up into the air. I need that attention getter, because then I know what do to.
Then I can ask the questions and listen to the responses and pour out the best encouragement that I have in the moment – perhaps by hug, by affirmation, by a laugh, by shared tears, or by just being there.
Matthew 7:7 (NIV) says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.“It is my understanding that encouragement is included in what we can ask for.
You know perhaps I need to humble myself, to let down my pride and to just give myself the permission to ask, to acknowledge that “y’all I could use some encouragement”. Okay, so I do not have a southern accent, but for some reason it just sounds so much sweeter and rolls off the tongue with such ease.
Give it a try, say out loud, “y’all I could use some encouragement.” It just makes me smile when I do it. How about you?
As so many times in my life, I go back to what I consider to be my life verses,
“24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV).
If we are to spur one another on, to encourage one another, how are we supposed to do it without being able to acknowledge to each other, to ask the question, to make it known that we need some encouragement. I am on empty.
If my friends are hurting or low, I would certainly want to know it. I would want to be there for them more than anything. I would do my best to love them through it all, because they are important to me, their feelings are important to me. Not just so I can do something for them, but also so that I may pray specifically for them – to give them a big old hug with my prayers.
This is my conclusion, a resounding YES, we can ask for encouragement and we should. Not just of others in our lives, but of the Lord, “When I called, You answered me; You greatly emboldened me.” Psalm 138:3 (NIV). I thank God for this message about His goodness, especially since emboldened is a synonym for encouragement. That just makes me smile.
My dear reader, God cares about you. I care about you. As I write this I can feel my eyes welling up with tears because I so badly do not want you to feel the way that I have felt over the past hours. It will be my prayer that you are blessed with people you can really ask for encouragement from and people who will, in turn, pour encouragement upon you when you need it.
Please help us to slow down and to recognize when we need some encouragement. Help us to ask for encouragement from You and from the others in our lives. Lord, please help us to not feel that it is a silly request. Help us also to not belittle our own requests because we feel that it is not worthy, in comparison, to the discouragement of others.
Remind us how much You care about us, about the details of our lives and how we feel about them. Help us to work through these feelings and frustrations. Help us to not be afraid to lay them before You.
Thank You so much for hearing us, and for the rich & lavish blessings that You graciously pour upon us. In the encouraging name of Jesus, amen.