An Encouraging Coach
And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. ~Isaiah 32:2
When I was in the fourth grade, some of my friends got me to try out for the boys’ basketball team. One of my best memories of learning how to play basketball was “Coach Tony.” Coach Tony took time to help each boy develop in his skills. He worked us hard, but he always had an encouraging spirit about him. Our devotion this morning teaches us how to be an encouraging coach.
We see the encourager as a refuge.
"And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest." We see the challenges of being caught in a strong, blowing wind and tempest. People face unexpected storms. Storms batter us and blow us about. We can feel as helpless as a leaf being blown about. An encourager comes alongside of a person caught in a storm and offers him refuge, shelter, and safety. A refuge is a needed shelter that keeps us dry and unhindered. We can be a refuge through our accompaniment. We can be a refuge through our assistance. As an encourager, give others safety and security in your comfort and counsel.
We see the encourager as refreshing.
"...As rivers of water in a dry place." All of us find ourselves in a dry place spiritually: a place where we feel depleted and like we have been walking through a desert circumstance. An encouraging coach is compared to rivers of water. Imagine being dry, thirsty, and desperate for water and coming to a fresh, flowing stream of water that adequately satisfies your dryness. People who come to us need to feel like they have been replenished and refreshed during their time with us. Onesiphorus was that kind of person to Paul. Paul called him a breath of fresh air, but he was also like rivers of water in a dry place.
We see the encourager in his relief.
"...As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." Travelers who have walked for a long time in a deserted, dry, and desolate area are greatly relieved to come upon a cliff that offers a shadow over their head. The other day, while doing a late afternoon walk in very intense heat, I was thankful to come to a shady “tree tunnel” that blocked the blazing sunrays and gave me much-needed relief. As an encourager, we give relief to burdened hearts. Bearing one another’s burdens is accomplished which we are a shadow in a dry and weary land.
We see the encourager in his reinforcement.
An encouraging coach gives positive reinforcement. “You can do it!” “You can make it!” “Just a little further!” “Don’t quit!” Positive reinforcement is telling the other person that you believe in him. It is letting him know that you are not giving up on him, and neither should he give up on himself. I think of Paul’s encouragement to Philemon that he knew he would do the right thing when it came to receiving Onesimus. I think of Jonathan’s armor bearer when he told him, “Do all that is in thine heart.”
Be an encouraging coach to your spouse, your children, and fellow Christians. Invest in people, and you will see a powerful rate of return.
Have an encouraging God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 19-21