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God's Got a Blessing, So Encourage Yourself

Dad, who has Alzheimer’s, broke into his tenant’s place for the 2nd time in a month. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Saturday evening I got a call mom is in the hospital. Her pressure is up. Her arteries are narrowed more than before. She’s at greater risk for another heart attack and possibly a stroke. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ As I sat in the ER and watched her sleep, a point came where she gasped for breaths, each one more labored than the next. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ I thought she was dying. I shook her. She awoke. “Nurse, come check on her.”⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ It was sleep apnea, but it rocked me. I left the hospital around midnight exhausted and frayed. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ By Sunday, I was slipping into depression and by Monday, it was time to finish out my last week of work. I’m being laid off tomorrow, the second in two years. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Still, in the midst of it, God’s been encouraging my broken spirit with two songs: “God’s got a blessing” by Norman Hutchins and “Encourage yourself” by Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ I needed them on Monday. I needed them in days to come.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ To help at the moment I felt I was going to faint at my desk. To help when I found myself in bathroom stalls crying and hyperventilating. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ To help when I sat in my car and cried uncontrollably. To help when it felt like someone dug their hand into my chest and squeezed my heart with a grip that wouldn’t release.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ To help at nights and in the mornings when my pillow, sheets, hair, and shirt soaked up tears. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ To help when I couldn’t open my mouth to pray. To help when I read the Word and its words wouldn’t stay. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ To help even as I write this post with a fogged mind and overwhelmed heart. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ No matter the circumstances, he says. No matter the fear, doubt, pain. No matter Monday night’s binge on a bottle-and-a-half of wine where I cried on the couch listening to those songs. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ NO MATTER WHAT! God loves us. ⁣ ⁣ There are truth and promise tucked in aching hearts: He has a blessing with our name on it if we’ll encourage ourselves in the Lord. ⁣⁣⁣⁣

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