Monday, March 27, 2006
When Your Encouragers Are Out To Lunch
Well, now it's official... reruns are everywhere. My post today is a rerun from last year. I hope you don't mind...
The only bad thing about keeping a blog is that I get tested on just about everything I write.
Like today... awhile after I wrote that piece about emotions, Naomi came home to get more of her boxes to take over to her apartment. Things started out well, then they collapsed into the one thing Naomi does which pushes all my buttons and makes steam come from my ears. She once again insinuated that I know nothing about Real Life...that somehow, somewhere, my brains fell out...that although she is half my age, she has somehow had twice my experience.
And I'd been having such a lovely morning, too. Sigh...
Well, I partly passed the Naomi Test. I didn't sink to her level and say a bunch of stuff in retaliation. I only gently said a couple things to defend myself. For me, that's big. And then I went back into my dream room--my peaceful place of escape at the top of the stairs, and quietly closed the door. In the old days I would have shut it hard. Ok, I would have slammed it.
So far, so good. But then, as I sat back on my floor and continued sorting through my magazines in the sunlight, I came very close to crying. All right, all right... I cried a little. But then I remembered what I'd written this morning and how this was most likely a test to see if I really believed those words. I did. And then God was there sitting beside me--He even nudged my shoulder like a friend and said, "Come on. You're doing fine. You know she's young and still has so much to learn. Cheer up."
And that reminded me of Encouragement 101. The best thing I learned in that class?
"But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord" ...I Sam. 30:6
Very often, you can't wait for a truckload of Christians to come along and peel you off the Highway of Life. Sometimes you just have to ask God to do it. You have to let Him be The Great Encourager when all your regular encouragers are out to lunch... When they've not picked up the signals--spoken or otherwise--relaying the fact that you need some kind, uplifting words.
Sometimes, in fact, God purposely scrambles those signals in hopes that we will come to Him for encouragement. In that case, it does no good to get upset with the people who failed to race to us when we needed them. So often it's more a matter of God wanting us to run to the Throne, instead of the phone in times of need. (I am stealing that statement, I'll confess.)
I am so thankful for Encouragement 101. Kind, healing words from other people--really, they're wonderful! But sometimes even the best encouragers fail us, for whatever reasons.
There is only one Encourager who never, ever fails.