Encouragement for Today - September 18, 2012


Samantha Reed

September 18, 2012

How Are You, Really?
Samantha Reed

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1:1, 14 (ESV)

How are you, really? I was posed this question one day, but didn't want to delve into the truth. 'Cause truth is, there were only a few I wanted to be that honest with. And those I generally share the depths with were wading through extenuating circumstances. Filled to capacity, they needed a place to pour out.

Cupped hands caught their words, worries, wants. Until my hands and heart were heavy.

I was weary from taking in and not pouring myself out in return. I understood; they didn't have it to give. Yet, hour upon hour of listening ... I wasn't sure I had it to give either.

Irony is, my very name means "Listener." Double irony is my life verse from last year: "Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed" (Prov. 11:25b NIV). But I could not take any more words into a soul that was cram-full. And I could not pour out refreshment that was not there.

I was completely full, yet totally empty.

And so I selfishly checked out in the name of self-preservation; retreated into myself, away from their words weighted with pain and trouble and questions. Distanced my being from all words.

Until the Word beckoned me with cupped hands large enough to hold my weary soul, and my friend's worn circumstances, and the thin world.

I poured into the Word, a measureless basin in which my words rested. He asked four words my soul thirsted for, "How are you, really?"

I'm weary. "I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10b (NIV)

I feel alone. "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20b (NIV)

I'm tired. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28b (NIV)

I poured out, He poured in. An ebb and flow more natural than the ocean's tides. My soul needed His words; needed Him: the Word.

Community is God-given. But friend's and family's ability to be leaned on will ebb and flow. Hence our soul's deepest need: friendship with the Lord. {Inhale deeply that delight: we're friends with God.} Friends with the unchanging nature of the Word, Jesus.

Let's take His cupped hand, reaching out to hold ours, our cares, our friends and family members. Take His hand and take a walk through Him, the Word. Pour our truthful answers into Him and ourselves into the fields of Scripture. Refreshment awaits. He's asking, "How are you, really?"

Dear Lord, thank You for never changing. Thank You for listening and hearing. Thank You for Your faithful friendship. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Pour yourself into the Word through one of these Bibles.

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope has helped thousands of women overcome the emptiness of insecurity, hurt, loneliness and doubt by learning to live in the fullness of God's promises. Here's what some are saying:

"I feel like someone finally jumped in my head and my heart and painted over my insecurities with God's Word."

"If you are looking for a practical way to apply God's Word to the areas of your deepest insecurities, as well as an enjoyable and personable read, this book is for you."

Visit Samantha's blog and leave a comment letting us know how you are. Then leave a comment with a prayer for the person who commented before you and enter to win a copy of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.

Reflect and Respond:
How are you, really?

Pour into the Word. Memorize one of the Scriptures listed above and talk to the Lord about your needs.

Power Verses:
Malachi 3:6, "I the LORD do not change." (NIV)

John 15:15b, "Instead, I have called you friends..." (NIV)

© 2012 by Samantha Reed. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616G MatthewsMint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Tuesday, 18 September 2012.