Hope you’re having an awesome week! Hope your heart is filled with singin’, praisin’…"kicking down the cobble stones, feelin' groovy…”
I guess I haven't had a week completely like that.
I liked Robin Williams a lot.
Sometimes his movies encouraged me in ways I hadn't expected when I went.
“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” I mean, that's totally true, right? Make every day count. You only have a limited number of them. As Moses says in Psalm 90, "Teach us to count 'em!" So we make 'em count!
Then in "Mrs Doubtfire", when his false teeth fell in the glass, he muttered, "Carpe dentem. Seize the teeth…" Genius!
And at the end of that one, when he's doing his kids' show on TV with all the puppets, he closes by telling all his children viewers, “If there’s love, dear… those are the ties that bind…You’re going to be all right.”
I'll never forget how sweet that was. Who doesn't need to hear someone say, "You're going to be alright."
I know how awful depression is, but I wondered this week about so many things…
Was it that a person so famous and well-liked could really feel so alone with no one to call?
Does a person at that age still feel like there is something yet to prove? Or that it's never enough?
I thought a lot about another struggling person much like this…
As a child, he lost his mother and four siblings. Before age 6. His father was the cold-grumpy-type who you could never really please. William, the kid, was sent away to one of those British boarding schools like in David Copperfield where people were unkind and some abusive of him. He fell in love but his dad broke up the engagement. He lost all confidence and when his dad made him take an exam to be a clerk in the House of Lords, on the night before the test, he tried to end his own life by hanging himself with a belt…three times. He couldn’t get it to work. He failed at failing!
But then things began to…change! And get better! (That would be about the only change possible ‘cause it couldn’t get much worse!)
What made the difference?
Encouraging people! “Courage” + “in” = “encourage”! He found people who put “courage en” him! “Courage” comes from the word “cuore”…Latin for “heart”! People who help you “take heart”!
While spending time in a hospital for the mentally distressed, William met a doctor who encouraged him…and helped him find some Scriptures he needed…mostly in Romans ‘cause guilt was really getting our friend. One day, he fell into a chair, opened up the New Testament and his eyes fell on Romans, chapter 3 where it says “God gave Jesus to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, so we can know the sins of the past are gone…”
Here’s what happened…
“Immediately I received the strength to believe it, and the full beams of the Sun of Righteousness shone upon me. I saw the sufficiency of the atonement He had made, my pardon sealed in His blood, and all the fullness and completeness of His justification. In a moment I believed, and received the gospel. Unless the Almighty arm had been under me, I think I should have died with gratitude and joy. My eyes filled with tears, and my voice choked with transport; I could only look up to heaven in silent fear, overwhelmed with love and wonder.”
Now you’re talkin’, Bill!
After Dr. Nathaniel Cotton finished his work, our sad-but-improving friend met a couple who invited William to rent a room in their home. Mary and Morey Unwin listened, prayed, and encouraged their new boarder. And then they introduced him to a pastor in their little town, John Newton who was an encouragement genius! He came up with the encouraging idea of writing songs about Jesus together. His new friend, William Cowper would eventually be known as the greatest poet in the English language.
Together they wrote 384 hymns! The most famous is number 41…
”Amazing Grace! How Sweet the Sound…”
Everybody needs it! That’s why we do so much of the stuff we do at Triple C. It's why we have community groups on Sundays. It’s why guys get together on Saturday mornings and folks get together loads of other times. It's not just doing stuff to do it. These are times to learn, times to pray, times to laugh, and times to get some encouragement!
William Cowper wrote…
"For solitude, however some may rave,
seeming a sanctuary, proves a grave.
A sepulcher in which the living lie,
where all good qualities come to die."
In other words…
William Cowper struggled to feel encouraged for the rest of his life.
Some people don't seem to need as much encouragement as others do.
But EVERYBODY needs encouragement sometimes…
Some people like William Cowper (and me!) need encouragement maybe a lot of the time…
You may be at a place where you don’t really need encouragement right now…
But somebody needs some from you!
…someone like me.