Many of you who at one time or another have had exercise instructors know how they talk when they are trying to rally you to continue. "You can do this!" is one of the more positive phrases you might hear. Some instructors however will be almost bullying, "Don't you dare quit now!"
Yesterday, the instructor said something I found very encouraging. Toward the end of a fairly difficult arm workout, when the muscles had been fully worked and were tired, he said, "We can do this. I know your muscles are burning, and mine are too, but we can work through any burn. We got this!"
That makes a big difference, doesn't it? By using that word he not only gave encouragement but also the feeling there was someone along with in the suffering.
My mother died 26 years ago today. She had cancer, and we knew the direction in which things were heading. It was a very difficult time. While we knew what was going to happen, we didn't know when or how, and that added to the stress of the situation. Also, my father had died four months before, so it was grief upon grief.
It was especially difficult to go to work in Labor and Delivery where everyone was so happy. I was truly happy for the families I cared for, and I tried to be happy with them, but my heart was often too heavy to truly share in their joy.
I received strength from knowing I was not alone. While I could not hear the Lord speaking to me audibly, if I could have, I believe He would have been encouraging me like the fitness instructor, "Frannie, we can do this." "We." I may not have heard the words, but I certainly felt them in my spirit. He was there, with me, strengthening, encouraging, comforting, and loving me with each step.
For His children, He will always be there. There will never be a day when He is not loving us, encouraging us, and comforting us. He will be for us all we need in every moment if we trust Him to be so. He loves us so very much more than we can ever begin to realize.
"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
"I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
"I have loved thee with an everlasting love."