Lately it seems like a lot of people – friends, family and co-workers – in my life need encouragement. And I find myself often reassuring and supporting them through life’s difficulties. Today I am re-posting on of my earliest post I wrote for this blog. It’s about how my father – and My Father – have supported and encouraged me throughout life. However, I want to offer something else. Sometimes, even though we know that our Father loves us, we need to hear audible words and we need arms with “skin on” to hug us. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is why the Bible calls the Church His “BODY.” We are literally His arms and feet and mouth. He uses us to encourage, help, support, inspire and cheer others. Paul spoke about this in his letter to the Corinthian church.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2Corinthians 1:3-4, ESV)
We are comforted by God and are able to comfort others. That’s how it works. So my point today is simple. Be comforted and offer comfort and joy to others in your life. Goodness knows they need it.
So here is my re-post:
Running Like the Wind July 1, 2011
I was never what you would call athletic. The only shape I was ever in was round. And that cliché about never getting picked for a team on the playground really was true. I did run track when I was in junior high school. I wasn’t very good. But I did come in second in one of my races. Of course, there were only two of us running. I remember one race especially well. The team had travelled somewhere for this race. It was in an armory with the spectator seats in a balcony. I was part of a four man relay. I was the third leg. We were third place when the baton was passed to me. I took it and ran like the wind. I’m not sure why, but that day everything was working well. I was running fast. I made up time. I got us into first place. It was a thing of beauty. It felt great. Unfortunately, the anchor runner fell behind and we lost. It didn’t matter, I was feeling good. But the best part about that day was that my parents and my sister were there to watch. After the race my sister was telling me that as they watched the race, my Dad was jumping up and down at the railing cheering me on, encouraging me with his shouts. She said she thought he was going to fall over the railing.
I have always treasured that story, that memory, especially because it so closely parallels the way our heavenly Father feels about us. At least that is how it feels to me. This great God, all-powerful, majestic and apart, still sees me. Me! Imagine that. He wants me to succeed at this Christian life. He enjoys my victories and finds ways to encourage me. He doesn’t give up on me because I’m not very good at stuff. He cheers me on through my race in life. Not only that but God has the desire and ability to actually empower me to live the life he wants for me. He provides both the encouragement and the strength.
Unlike those kids on the playground, God actually chose me. He looked down the corridors of time and said, “I’ll take Albert. You’re on my team now.” Wow, how great is that! It wasn’t because I was especially handsome (although I am quite good-looking – in a short, balding kind of way), or smart or spiritual or holy or anything special. He chose me because He wanted to. That makes me feel special. To know that God wants me to win and roots for me is one of the great milestones on my Journey to the Center of the Soul.