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"Tall Trees" Need Encouragement Too...

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Psalms 5:11

A good friend of mine, a few years ago, had a life-threatening illness requiring his hospitalization. Several years went by and he seemed to be recovering pretty well. He still went to the doctor for routine checkups and maintained a healthy plant-based diet. One day he was coughing profusely because he had the flu which also brought on the chills.

Though he was usually a man of strong faith and resilience, he surprised me by blurting out, "Why has God not heard my prayers for healing after all these years?" I think he was concerned because perhaps his recent illness reminded him of the symptoms he had when he became deathly ill in the past. He continued, " Don't I deserve to ask Him questions?" "Don't I deserve to hear an answer?"

In the Bible, David was a man of God who went through severe ordeals on his way to kingship. He had to run for his life and that must have been very overwhelming at times. However, David encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30), but did this mean that He wouldn't have welcomed encouragement from someone else?

Sometimes we forget that "tall trees", men of God, and women of God need encouragement too. We pass them by, focusing on our own problems because we may think that they got it all covered. We believe that their faith and prayer life are so robust, that they got it made: they don't need to be called nor prayed with. They don't need wellness checks because they are so spiritually strong and confident. Perhaps this may be the case, but this doesn't negate the fact that these tall trees go through times of discouragement that could possibly compromise their resilience, uproot their faith, and allow the enemy to gain a stronghold.

During my friend's small window of vulnerability, I encouraged him as best as I could by both sharing experiences and encouraging words. I spoke about days when my faith took hits in cases where I expected God to open several doors in my personal journey or family affairs, but without avail. Sometimes I questioned God as well, but throughout it all, I have found Him to be more than faithful. I told him that even spiritual giants need encouragement and prayers, and there is no shame in admitting this to someone who you trust will take it to God for you.

I prayed for him multiple times throughout the night and morning, that the Lord would be merciful and answer his heart's desire. I searched God's words for appropriate promises and shared them with him over time. I visited him, though he lived quite a distance away as well. Sometimes encouraging someone may involve monetary and physical sacrifice, but the potential results are well worth it, in God's book of records. Today, he is still a tall tree in the garden of the Lord and I pray he continues to be one.

There are people in your life, whether in your workplace, community, or within your family, that you may think are always strong, but they may be going through a Job, David, or Elijah experience. Pray for them and be compassionate by finding ways to practically "lift" them up. Perhaps you are that "tall tree", someone is praying for you. Blessings!

Taste. Enjoy! Respond. Like! Share. Be encouraged!

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