Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Encouraging Words for the New Year by Jaye Lewis

Hello friends,

I’ve been writing my Encouraging Words blog for nearly three years. I just checked today, and I’ll tell you, it surprised me. Has it really been that long? You’ve gone through a lot with me, and you have changed me. Because of you, little by little, I have begun to understand exactly what it means to give someone encouraging words. Because of you, I now understand that by using words of kindness and forgetting about myself, I am able to uplift and support. You have given that to me. But sometimes I just don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to say it. I try to reach out, yet, my reach is short, and I falter…even fail.

Jesus said, don’t worry about what you will say. The Holy Spirit will give you the right words to say. It is easier to believe that, than to practice it. I often feel inadequate, and the words just do not come. How can I let you down? How can I let God down. What do I do when the heavens seem silent? These are the things that are on my heart today.

We are between Christmas and New Years, either the most joyful or depressing time of the year, depending on the life you live. I can remember what it was like to be under the power of unrighteous human beings. I come from a strange and disturbing family. One never knows what will set them off. It’s impossible to measure the truth of their words, since all of their opinions are tinged with fabrication. I grew up in that atmosphere, and I did not fully escape until I was in my thirties, and my husband came to my rescue.

My husband. Kind. Righteous. Strong. Watchful. And protective. Oh how wonderful it is to hide from evil in his arms. I know I’m blessed by God with this good man. But what about those who do not have someone in their lives? What about those who have chosen to be single? Yes, that is a life-choice, even in this day and age. Well, what about them?

My friends, when I had no human comfort, and I had little girls to protect and defend, I still was not alone. There was God – and still is – and He was my defender in all things. It was within the feathers of His wings that I found my hiding place. Deep in His shadow, I knew I would remain safe. And it was He who gave me the strength to leave my situation, and He continued to defend and protect me, when I was a single mother. I could feel His presence deep into the night. Like a soft, summer breeze was His touch, to me.

So, knowing that words of encouragement come not from the mouth, but from the heart, I stumble. I do my best to listen to the Holy Spirit, and to speak the truth. I understand the needs that others have at this time of the year. I hope to speak to those needs. I understand the loneliness that this season can bring. I believe that God’s commission for me is to be as honest as I can, as clear as I can, as loving and as kind as I can. Lord knows I fail at this, but I’m trying.

Fear not! Scripture tells us. God is not only watching, but He is holding each of us in His arms. He tells us in Isaiah 49:15b,16a “Yet, will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven (written, carved, inscribed) you on the palms of my hands.”(KJV) Wow! He has written me upon the palms of His hands. I am permanently carved in his hands. God cannot stop thinking of me; nor will He throw me away, because I belong to Him.

So, my friends, I hope your Christmas was happy, and I pray that your New Year is filled with hope and possibilities. May you look for those unexpected blessings that we often overlook. Look on the New Year as a new beginning. The old year is past, and all things will be new again.

Lord, Father, this is the time of the year when much seems hopeless. What have we all accomplished? How have we let You and each other down? Help us to see and believe that heaven is not silent, and help us, oh Lord, to joyfully place our hand in Yours and, together, travel the road ahead.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Email Jaye