Encouragement for Today - Nov. 10, 2006


November 10, 2006


Encouragement for Today


Principle 1


“Hanging On”

Susanne Scheppmann, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member, Co-editor Online Devotions


Key Verse:

Deuteronomy 32:46-47, “He said to them, ‘Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you--they are your life.’” (NIV)



Do you ever feel like you are just barely hanging on in life? I do. Life circumstances seem to keep me off balance on a regular basis. However, yesterday I learned a lesson about life through bird watching.


I sat mesmerized by a flock of small yellow finches that hung upside down from a white mesh feeding-sock. They clung to the feeder filled with seeds with their tiny toes. With gravity defying agility, the birds continued to peck at the seeds despite their topsy-turvy position.


Occasionally, a strong gust of wind would shake the feeder. The birds ignored the earthquake that jostled their restaurant and calmly continued to peck undisturbed. Then, a new crisis developed. Large, ungainly, brown grackle birds began to dive bomb the finches. They attempted to knock the finches off the feeder. Nevertheless, the finches just clung to the mesh by their tiny toes. They did not allow themselves to be dislodged from their life-sustaining nourishment—the birdseed. 


I glanced down at my Bible and thought, “That’s my life giving food. Do I cling to it when I find myself being thrown off balance with the challenges of life?” Unfortunately, I have to admit I don’t always hold on to the Word when times become difficult. It seems easier to just worry and fret over the day’s events instead of trusting God and His Word.   Today’s Key Verse clearly instructs us, however, to “take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared . . . They are not just idle words for you—they are your life.”


I pondered these thoughts as I continued to watch the finches. Then the birds illustrated another truth of hanging onto God’s Word. While the baby birds struggled to hang on, the parents would take a few bites and then feed the younger finches the seeds they held in their beaks. This enabled the fledglings to concentrate on keeping their balance on the bird sock.


I recalled how often Christians more mature than myself had offered me the truth of God’s Word when a dilemma ruffled my walk of faith. Their patient support and encouragement enabled me to learn to trust the Hand of God.


So, my feathered friends taught me two lessons. One is to hang on to the truth of God’s Word no matter how much my life is rattled by problems. Moreover, not only do I need to accept help from others whose walk of faith is further along, but I should offer help to others who are swinging frantically on the rope of life’s difficulties.


My friends, lets hang on together and share God’s Word—for It is our life.


My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, I desire to hang on to Your Word. Make me hungry to read It each day so that my strength is in You. Help me to share Your Word with others who are just hanging on in difficult situations. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Application Steps:  

Read Psalm 119. Highlight all the verses that refer to the benefits of God’s Word in our lives.


Reflection Points: 

Do I read my Bible on a regular basis for spiritual nutrition?


Do I encourage others to hold onto God’s Word?


How can I devote more time to study the Bible?


Power Verses:

Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (NIV) 


1 Thessalonians 2:13, “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.” (NIV) 


2 Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” (NIV) 


Additional Resources:

A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer by Cheri Fuller


Breathe  by Keri Wyatt Kent


The Power of a Christmas Prayer  by Stormie Omartian


Originally published Friday, 10 November 2006.