As I was driving my vehicle into the parking lot at work this morning, my cell phone rang. A sister who comes to me whenever she needs encouragement and spiritual counsel was on the other end. She was in tears as she expressed to me some of the things that are currently going on in her life. I quietly listened until she was all talked (and all cried) out, and then I began to share with her the things that were on my heart and the Word of God that rested in my spirit.
I always arrive at work early; well before the required "clock-in" time. Most days, I go ahead and enter the office and take a few moments to pray and meditate, and then I grab breakfast and get a jump-start on whatever work assignments await. Today, one phone call altered my normal routine. Although I still got into the office ahead of schedule, it was necessary for me to use some of that time to encourage a heart that was hurting and to help rebuild a spirit that was breaking down.
By the time we got to the end of our "counseling session," the sister was laughing. Her joy was on the rebound! Just before we disconnected our call, she said to me, "I consider myself an encourager, Kendra. People come to me when they need a lift, but they just don't know that this encourager needs encouraging sometimes too." Then she laughed and added, "Since I come to you when I need encouragement, I guess that makes you an encourager of encouragers." We ended our call shortly thereafter, and as I got out of my vehicle and began the short walk to the entryway of my place of employment, I thought to myself... So who encourages the encourager of encouragers? Sometimes those of us who are known for being strong can be so solid, sturdy, and enduring in our faith that people forget that there are times when our spirits need to be rebuilt, refueled, and reinforced too.
There is a once chart-topping gospel song that says, "Sometimes you have to encourage yourself... sometimes you have to speak victory during the test. And no matter how you feel, speak the word and you will be healed. Speak over yourself, encourage yourself in the Lord." Later in those same lyrics there is a sentence that says, "As I minister to you, I minister to myself." And for me, I believe that's where the answer most often lies. Yes, I have been blessed with a couple of trusted and devout confidants in my life that I know I can go to if I need the listening ear of another Spirit-filled human being, but often times I have found that when I allow God to use me to minister to others, I find, in my own words, the very encouragement for which I've been searching. As I pour into them, I'm pouring into me. As a reward for my obedience in sharing God's word with others, it's as though God, in turn, allows those same words to empower and encourage me. God is awesome like that!!
Psalm 46:1 is a dynamic verse of scripture that reminds us that no matter what comes our way, God is not only our Strength, but He's also our Protection. It says, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. That assures me that even if it looks like I'm by myself in a battle; I'm never alone. If I try to call my trusted friends and they're otherwise preoccupied and can't come to my rescue, I can always look to the Lord. In fact, He should be my first recourse because He is ALWAYS there, and He never fails. He will give me what I need so that I can encourage myself and go forth in victory. Thank God for being the ultimate ENCOURAGER of the encourager of encouragers! 😊