October 15, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Who Will Stand up for Me?
Sharon Jaynes, Vice President, Proverbs 31 Ministries, author, speaker, radio co-host
"Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25 NIV).
I was a naïve nineteen-year-old college co-ed, going before all the dental hygiene department instructors and the dean of the department. This was the dreaded one-year review, and I had seen both happy and discouraged faces of my classmates emerge from the "chamber" the day before. Finally, my name was called.
Actually, the year in review went very well. My grades were good, my clinical skills were developing well, and I seemed to be getting along with my peers and instructors. The board was all smiles and cheers. Then they asked, "Sharon, do you have any questions or anything you'd like to add?"
This is where the story takes an unexpected turn.
"Well, yes. I do have something I'd like to add," I said. "Yesterday, Sue was in here for her review and I think you all were too hard on her. Sue has had a very hard life. Her mother died when she was in Junior High and her father has remarried and her step-mother doesn't give her any attention and her dad hardly ever contacts her and when she went home for Christmas all they gave her was a pair of pink fuzzy bedroom slippers and well, that's not very much for a Christmas present and I know that Sue acts up sometimes, but I think that is because she does need some attention and she's doing the best she can. Well, I know she could work harder but there's not anyone around to encourage her and well, after she came in her yesterday and you all didn't give her a very good report, she cried, but then she made a joke about it but I know she was hurting inside and well, I just thought you ought to know that she has had a rough life, and well, one pair of pink fuzzy bedroom slippers is not very much, but I think it says a lot. I just thought you should know."
The teachers and the dean just sat there in stunned silence. I can only imagine they were thinking...Is this girl crazy? Does she know what her little diatribe could do to her? Is this little twerp questioning us?
Finally, Dr. Sproul spoke up. "Thank you, Sharon. We'll keep that in mind."
"Thank you, sir," I replied. "I just thought you should know."
Thinking back on that incident that occurred over twenty years ago, I laugh out loud at my naïvete. Yes, my speech could have ruined my relationship with the teachers. But you know what, it didn't. They were amazed that I would care enough about another student to stand up for her.
Since then, I have had days when I silently screamed, "Is there anyone who will stand up for ME! Who cares enough about me, to stand up for ME! Somebody, anybody."
Then I hear that still small voice, reminding me that there is someone who stands up for me continually. His name is Jesus. He prays for me and stands before the throne of God saying, "Not guilty, not guilty, not guilty."
When Satan says, "Yeah, but...," God holds up His hand as if to interrupt, "Not guilty, not guilty, not guilty."
If you are feeling like there is no one who understands you today, know that God does. If you are feeling that no one values you today, know that God does. If you are feeling that there is no one who will stand up for you and plead your case, know that Jesus does.
My Prayer for today:
Thank you, Lord, for standing up for me. Thank you that you have done more than merely stand up for me. You have taken my guilty sentence upon yourself and paid the penalty for my sins. I am "not guilty" for one reason only, you have taken my guilt upon yourself and served the death sentence in my place. When I feel alone, help me to remember that you are always there, standing right beside me.
Scan through several of the Psalms and notice how David felt about being chased by his enemies and falsely accused by them.
Notice David's response to false accusations.
Notice to Whom David went for encouragement.
How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is praying for you right now?
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
"Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord. Vindicate me in your righteousness, O LORD my God; do not let them gloat over me. Do not let them think, "Aha, just what we wanted!" or say, "We have swallowed him up." (Psalm 35:23-25 NIV).
"And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will" (Romans 8:27 NIV).
"At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth" (2 Timothy 4:16 NIV).
Dreams of a Woman: God's Plans For Fulfilling Your Dreams by Sharon Jaynes