Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A refill of encouragement

Bonnie over at Faith Barista asks in what area (e.g. work, parenting, marriage, friendship, ministry, faith, health, finances, or ___? ) I’d like a ‘refill’ of encouragement. 
Hmmm... what area WOULDN’T I like to be encouraged in??

This week I’ve needed encouragement in my relationships: at work, as a parent, in my friendships. A combination of over-tiredness and difficult circumstances have left me feeling depleted, down to the dregs. I can see the coffee grounds of unkind words, ignored suggestions, excluded conversations, derogatory laughter, inadequacy and lack of understanding.  The fragrance of a fresh, reviving brew has long since gone.

It all came to a head yesterday morning. A hectic time at work made me over-tired and over-busy; church commitments all came together (last week was a breeze) at the same time as my daughter came home for a brief visit, leaving less time with her. She was busy catching up with friends in any case, and a combination of circumstances left me feeling discouraged as a parent. Lies came crowding in as coping strategies fled: I wobbled and tipped over. Any feelings of self-worth I had in me spilt, trickling away, soaked up in deception.

Today, my cup of encouragement has been refilled. In small ways.
I have been reading through Jeremiah of late. Deeply depressing in some ways, but I gained a lot of strength from him as I read his complaint (Jeremiah 20:7 – 18).

&  1. I was encouraged as I realised that, whatever I felt like, things really WEREN’T so bad when I compared my ‘difficulties’ with Jeremiah’s. My friends ARE my friends, my colleagues DO like and appreciate me and, most importantly, my daughter loves me very much.
I hear many whispering,
   “Terror on every side!
   Denounce him! Let’s denounce him!”
All my friends  are waiting for me to slip, saying,
“Perhaps he will be deceived;
   then we will prevail over him
   and take our revenge on him.” (v10)

2. I was encouraged as I realised that GOD IS WITH ME. Regardless of how I might FEEL, He is always there and has my best in mind.
 But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior;
   so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;
   their dishonor will never be forgotten.
LORD Almighty, you who examine the righteous
   and probe the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
   for to you I have committed my cause. (vv11 – 12)

&  3. I was encouraged as I realised that GOD is great, and that all my worries and concerns pale into insignificance into comparison with his

  Sing to the LORD!
   Give praise to the LORD!
He rescues the life of the needy
   from the hands of the wicked. (v13)

It’s easy to write this, NOW.  I am sometimes too easily discouraged. When I am, I just have to remember to go back to God’s word – because that is a source of never-ending liquid nourishment. Life-giving water is the Bible’s analogy, but sometimes it might just be that first-of-the-day steaming cup of coffee.


  1. Refill does comes in small doses sometimes, though I wish it were just overflowing all the time. ;) Mama Mpira, thank you for sharing your brew of encouragement in the jam. And it's fresh because it came out of your journey. We all get discouraged, and that's why we can encourage each other. Thank you, friend!