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
Do you know people who are a breath of fresh air to you? By this, I mean someone who lifts your spirit, is reviving when you feel weary and depleted, and is a protector when you are under attack. I am referring to someone who is an encourager. Paul referred to the encouragers in his life as people who refreshed his spirit. In our devotion this morning, Isaiah gives four descriptions of an encourager.
We see a refuge.
“And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind.” Have you ever been in a major windstorm, especially in the desert? In a windstorm, the power of the wind will blow you about and even cause you to lose your balance and fall. It also blows sand, debris, and other objects at you and puts you at risk of injury. In a windstorm, you need a hiding place, or a refuge. A refuge is protective. It is a place of safety. An encourager is a friend who shields you from the hurt of criticism, complaints, or destructive speech. He is a refuge in time of trouble.
We see a roof.
“And a covert from the tempest.” We picture a tempest as a major rain downpour accompanied with lightning and thunder. You can be drenched from the rain, frightened by the thunder, and hit by the lightning. A good encourager shields you from the effects of a tempest. A tempest will come unexpectedly and catch you off guard. However, a good encourager looks for a friend caught in the downpour of a tempest and will be a roof over his head from the start and until it is over.
We see the rivers.
“As rivers of water in a dry place.” When you’re at a dry place in life, you are lacking in drive, energy, motivation, and strength. An encourager is like running rivers of water that come into a dry riverbed. A once-dead area is made alive by running rivers. An encourager will give you the needed boost in spirit, a word of prayer that brings revival, Bible verses that are timely and infusing, and a friendly accompaniment that gets you from dead center to the next level. An encourager is able to discern when you are at a dry, arid place in life and seeks to be a resourceful conduit of blessing when it is needed the most.
We see a rock.
“As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” When you are traveling in the hot, blazing sun, you know the great relief there is to be in the shade. A good encourager is described a great rock in a weary land. He is like a large boulder's or mountainside's shadow that protects you from the sun rays. Just like our Lord Who is a shadow to us from the heat of a trial, a good encourager gives us rest, comfort, and strength for our weary soul.
A good encourager incorporates the ability of being a shade, a shelter, and a ready resource. More than us looking for someone like that in our life, the challenge today is that we rise up to be that person. In a world filled with apathy, angst, and anger, let us be encouragers who help make other people better off because of our help and influence. Rise to the challenge of being a breath of fresh air for someone who is wasted, weary, and worn.
Have an encouraging God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ecclesiastes 5-8