DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY – THE TOUCH OF ENCOURAGEMENT… The Conclusion.
No more convincing evidence of the absence of parental affection exists than that compiled by Rene Spitz. In a South American orphanage, Spitz observed and recorded what happened to 97 children who were deprived of emotional and physical contact with others.
Because of a lack of funds, there was not enough staff to adequately care for these children, ages 3 months to 3 years old. Nurses changed diapers and fed and bathed the children. But there was little time to hold, cuddle, and talk to them as a mother would.
After three months many of them showed signs of abnormality. Besides a loss of appetite and being unable to sleep well, many of the children lay with a vacant expression in their eyes.
After five months, serious deterioration set in. They lay whimpering, with troubled and twisted faces. Often, when a doctor or nurse would pick up an infant, it would scream in terror. Twenty seven, almost one third, of the children died the first year, but not from lack of food or health care.
They died of a lack of touch and emotional nurture. Because of this, seven more died the second year. Only twenty one of the 97 survived, most suffering serious psychological damage. - Charles Sell, Unfinished Business.
They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. - Mark 8:22-25.
We conclude our study on a ‘Touch of encouragement” with a reminder that not only was it a personal touch, but it was also a…
A PATIENT TOUCH
There was no hurry; hope was born as Jesus took the time for this man. God is so patient with us, while we live in an “impatient generation.” We've all heard of folks who… “Stand at the microwave and scream hurry up!" And with people we have even less patience! But Jesus was patient to bring a hopeful encouragement to this man. We must also do the same.
The purposes of God often develop slowly because His grand designs are never hurried. The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him feverishly pacing the floor like a caged lion. "What's the trouble, Mr. brooks?" he asked. "The trouble is that I'm in a hurry, but God isn't!"
Haven't we felt the same way many times? Some of the greatest missionaries of history devotedly spread the seed of God's Word and yet had to wait long periods before seeing the fruit of their efforts. William Carey, for example, labored 7 years before the first Hindu convert was brought to Christ in Burma, and Adoniram Judson toiled 7 years before his faithful preaching was rewarded. In western Africa, it was 14 years before one convert was received into the Christian church. In New Zealand, it took 9 years; and in Tahiti, it was 16 years before the first harvest of souls began.
Thomas a` Kempis described that kind of patience in these words: "He deserves not the name of patient who is only willing to suffer as much as he thinks proper, and for whom he pleases. The truly patient man asks (nothing) from whom he suffers, (whether) his superior, his equal, or his inferior...But from whomever, or how much, or how often wrong is done to him, he accepts it all as from the hand of God, and counts it gain!" - Our Daily Bread.
Not only was it a personal and patient touch, but it was a…
A POWERFUL TOUCH
It was so sensitive, and I believe that as Jesus took the man by the hand, the man knew that this touch was one of power, that could bring healing, Jesus' touch was powerful in that it was, comforting, it was as if Jesus seemed to say “allow me,” it was such a sensitive touch.
"We must feel toward our people as a father toward his children; yea, the most tender love of a mother must not surpass ours. We must even travail in birth, till Christ be formed in them. They should see that we care for no outward thing, neither liberty, nor honor, nor life, in comparison to their salvation...
When the people see that you truly love them, they will hear anything from you...Oh therefore, see that you feel a tender love for your people in your hearts, and let them perceive it in your speech and conduct. Let them see that you spend and are spent for their sakes." - Richard Baxter.
It is a risk to seek the touch from Jesus that will encourage us. Why? Because it is us who will need to change. This man, whom Jesus healed, was never the same again! Will we allow Jesus touch us, to encourage us, and to comfort us? Even, if it calls for us to give up a very sensitive and personal part of our life? Be assured that when Jesus touches you, it is a touch of encouragement.
Loving Father, I thank you for your touch of encouragement. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to reach out and touch others with the same encouragement. Change me Lord, for your glory and for the extension of your Kingdom, in Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray, amen!