holding_hands_10806To encourage is  to inspire with courage and hope.  And nobody can inspire with courage and hope like God.  When we are in the pit of a dark valley, we don’t know how we got there, and we don’t know how we will get out. I have 2 reasons why God is the best source of encouragement: 1)  God is bigger than the dark valley–a dark valley that contains us, God can squish between his pinky fingers. 2) But at the exact same time that God is bigger than your valley, God makes Himself small enough to climb inside of it with you. I came to know this on July 31, 1999. I fell into a very dark valley, and the state of Florida declared me unfit to be in society. By the end of that day, I was locked up in a solitary “cell” in the state’s psychiatric ward.  Who was going to encourage me now? Who could get to where I was? And who could lead my life out of it? I had NO one in that psych ward. That night, I laid there crying so hard, feeling one notch shy of death itself.  I know God encouraged me because God was the only one who could access my “cell” without a key. And in the midst of that valley I felt comforted.  And THAT was the first day of the rest of my life. What you see in me today is  a result of Him encouraging me that night. God was big enough to remove a deep valley–at the exact same time–join me in a very small cell.  God is all things to all men. And when we need encouragement and NOBODY else can offer it….God can. Let Him. 🙂

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