August 20, 2010

All Dried Up

After my last post, I heard a chorus in my head saying...

What if I'm "all dried up" because my husband doesn't encourage me?
What if that source of encouragement is not there because I'm not married?
Should we then seek after the approval of men?

Women, whatever our situation, if we are in Christ, God has given us fellowship with one another. How do we participate in this fellowship? We should be consistently engaged, seeking out opportunities to bless, serve, and encourage our sisters. What if we looked for that opportunity in each interaction and actually spoke the words we often think, but don't say?

Friend, I see that you are gifted by God for such a time as this.
Sister, it is challenging to me how you are trusting God in your singleness. Don't give up!
Your children are a joy. I see your love for them.

Instead, what I find is that sin creeps in my heart and the good that I see in another turns to envy. I dwell in comparison, not only passing up an opportunity to encourage a sister, but then subjecting myself to insecurity and discontentment.

Celebrating one another is precious to the heart of God. When my children happily play together or celebrate each other's accomplishments, my eyes fill with tears of joy. How much more joy God must feel when we encourage each other!

Thankfully, even if we are "dried up" because we don't receive encouragement, we are in a relationship, through Christ, with a God who offers encouragement. He is not a God who says Come so I may demand from you but Come so I may listen and offer you my love. Cast all your cares upon me because I care for you.

Should we seek encouragement from others? No, that is an empty pursuit. Should we seek it from God? Yes, because His is full and satisfying.

I think of David in I Samuel 30-- that while he led his men into battle, their wives and children back home were taken by their enemies. His warriors became enraged with David. He was grief-stricken and overcome. There was no one there to offer him wisdom or encouragement.

But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. (vs 6)

And he received both.