I’m posting over at Billy Graham Center’s Evangel-Vision blog today! You can click here to see the post, or read it in its entirety below! Have a great day!
Do you ever feel like you need a pep talk? You know, when you have one of those days where you’re like, “Really, God?”
As men and women who devote our lives to sharing Jesus with others, I honestly think we pretty much have THE coolest job on Earth!
But can I say something? Sometimes, it can be just downright exhausting. And, if I can be so bold to say it, discouraging.
I hope you won’t judge me for saying what I may have felt (maybe you have too?) at least once in my life. We are only human and while we minister to many, I believe it’s only human for us to ask the question: who ministers to us in our own times of doubt, frustration, and fatigue?
I honestly don’t think it’s a selfish question, and I pray you grant me pardon if it sounds like it is. You see, while many of us are “preaching to the choir”, many of us are also preaching to the silent ones. The ones not singing His praises. The ones who are hurt, lonely, untrusting, and lost. Even those who already think they have it all, yet “all” doesn’t include Jesus.
I pray that you all have excellent support groups, lifting you up to our gracious Father on a regular basis. I have that myself, and I’m ever so FOREVER grateful for each and every prayer they’ve ever offered up with even a whisper of my name…and yours.
But, if you ever find yourself looking for a little encouragement in the midst of a trying time, tuck this post away to pull out when you just might need a little cheerleader in your pocket to carry you through the battle.
I’ve recently been studying the neatest little portion of the Psalms that I only just discovered: The Psalms of the Ascent. Admittedly, I can be a little late to the party, so maybe you are already well-versed in the beauty of these 15 crazy Psalms. But either way, I think you are in for an uplifting moment here with one of those Psalms in particular: Psalm 121.
This Psalm is like the ultimate Pep Talk! It reminds us where our help comes from, of course. But THEN it goes right into this full-on, energetic stanza of encouragement that we cannot help but start getting all pumped up about!
Watch how the Psalmist begins (some commentaries attribute it to Hezekiah…) by affirming, for himself, that his help truly comes from God:
I look up to the hills,
but where will my help really come from?
My help will come from the LORD,
the Creator of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121: 1-2 ERV
Wonderful, right? Words we’ve all heard many times and can agree to with our whole soul!!
But then – and this is the “GO TEAM, GO!” part – watch how he turns from speaking in first person (you know – the old “me, myself, and I” stuff) and transitions to a second person narrative (YOU, YOU, YOU)!
He spins this on its head from a self-help reminder to a pep talk to YOU, the reader!
Check THIS out:
He will not let YOU fall.
YOUR Protector will not fall asleep.
Israel’s Protector does not get tired.
He never sleeps.
The LORD is YOUR Protector.
The LORD stands by YOUR side, shading and protecting YOU.
The sun cannot harm YOU during the day,
and the moon cannot harm YOU at night.
The LORD will protect YOU from every danger.
He will protect YOUR soul.
8The LORD will protect YOU as YOU come and go,
both now and forever!
Psalm 121:3-8, ERV (emphasis mine…!)
Yes! He is OUR protector. He is OUR strength. OUR SONG IN THE NIGHT. AMEN!
As we look to Him to pull us out of the mess, or the just the dead end we’ve found ourselves in, we can find massive comfort in this Psalm because we hear that, when we raise our eyes up as far as the top of the tallest mountains looking for help, we are not met with false gods and crumbling monuments erected by those who never truly believed in a god like ours.
Instead, Psalm 121 reminds us that we are comforted by OUR God. Abba. Our sweet, protective, loving papa.
When you were a child and had a bad dream, in all likelihood you called for your mom or dad to come soothe you, right? And if you called them to you, I can almost be sure that they would come into your room and say something like, “It’s okay. I’ll stay here and watch over you. I’m here now! All is as it should be!” Perhaps, like me, you are a parent yourself and you’ve now become the one being called!
Whether you are the comforter or the one in need of comfort, it’s literally a saving grace to know “…from where your help comes”.
So, for those moments when you are even the slightest bit tempted to pack it in, pull up the covers, pretend you didn’t see the need because you are too tired and afraid to be rejected?
Well, today’s YOUR day, sweet friends in Christ.
I’m shouting “Go Team, Go” from my megaphone and waving my hands as far above my head as they will go in support of each and every one of you!
This Psalm’s for you.
Peace, love, and JOY,
Wendie J. Connors, M.A.Ed.