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FiveMinute Fridays # Encourage


Today I'm linking up with Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart...
http://holleygerth.com/coffee-for-your-heart-love/

Encouragement….the idea of inspiring courage to keep pressing on, to keep slogging through, to keep pushing back the darkness, to keep shining bright, to help someone believe that there is still hope for them, that their is a reason and that there is a finish line….that there is more than here & now… 

Another way that the Bible often paints the picture of encouragement is this phrase, "The Lifter of My Head"…..

Gospel.com defines this phrase as "God is described as the "lifter of my head"--the one who notices when we are sad and despairing, and gives us strength and hope so that we can hold our heads up high again."


sometime last year this phrase caught my attention and stuck with me…deep inside as I was reading over the Psalms…the word picture of God lifting up David's head...

The Psalmist uses this phrase as He names God in His life in Psalm 3…
But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

All throughout the Bible are picture of God lifting the heads of people deep in despair…face down…
Elijah at the Brook Cherith….comforted by Angels and fed by Heaven
Hagar out in the desert…given a well and hope for her and her son
Joseph exits dank dark prison and is given a new chance and now is among princes of Egypt
The Israelites finally walking out of Egypt, hope pounding the pavement with them….
Hannah's joy at a son finally born after gut wrenching years of begging …
The bleeding woman, lowly moving unknown to touch Jesus' robe and finally is healed...
Peter…after he had blown it…Jesus looking deep asking, "Do you love me?" and giving Him another chance… a charge a mission…lifting up his Head by lifting up His heart...

Many times God seems to specialize in sending us the Encouragement…the rescue to not give up at the apex of moments that we are about to give up…. that our heads are down and we are about out…wrung out…spent…through…

Many times God sends that Encouragement through others…other head lifters…perhaps literally lifting…helping with physical frailties and sicknesses, someone who kindly offers a meal or clothes, a place for an orphan to lay his head and spreads a blanket of love over and a pillow to lift up lonely head
…Other Head Lifters specialize in soul lifting through prayers prayed and giving time to actually listen 
I don't know how many times that I would've burnt out, crashed…head down if not for the encouragement and refreshment of other people….

Encouragement can take so many forms and come to us in many avenues….

many times in very unexpected places we find ourselves inspired to courage…we find ourselves prompted to do something great or simply to hold on to Our Hope

One such moment for me occurred as a newly wed in a hospital room with a dying woman…
She was my beloved Adelle…
I had only known her for about five short months because of a job I had at a local nursing home…but our bond was real and strong…like a close grandma I never knew…I couldn't pry myself from her room without much effort…
She sat there on her chair  plump and nicely dressed...smelling of too much Red Door and reading romance novels…
A few conversations and we were best of friends…

It wouldn't be for too long because Thanksgiving brought her to the hospital and I was sure she would be just fine..
I left a Thanksgiving meal early to see her…
There she was sitting upright in her bed staring at the bland hospital thanksgiving meal and refusing to eat it….I remember it hit me that something wasn't right and that it was probably going to be the end of this spitfire but sweet very old woman...
My eyes swimming with tears, my new husband was with me holding my hand…

She noticed all my tears and spit out the phrase, "Stop being a baby!"
I was surprised and laughed despite myself..she was ready…
When I came alone to be with her..she held my hand and told me "I wish you could come with me." I squeezed her ninety something hand back…
"But," she whispered into the chill of the fluorescent lit sterile room…"Maybe you will bring many people into His Kingdom, like me." …with those few whispered words she started a flame…
...a flame of Hope 

that was the last few words she gifted me with…I kissed her and the next morning I called and she had flown Home…and she was free…

That little phrase she spoke over me, still lifts up my head when I think i have failed and what i do hasn't any real significance…when all i see is my darkness and personal fails…
I still hear that voice departing this earth…someone speaking a final blessing over me…
I hope one day in Heaven to kiss her sweet face and let her know what those last words did for me…
How even though I plumped her pillow and lifted her head, smoothed back her hair…her words lifted my heart for years to come…gave me a goal for my life…they inspired courage

And I hope Miss Adelle, that it may be true….




Comments

  1. So glad you have this moment to look back on and hold on to! And thanks for the image of God lifting our heads. I love that.

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