Last weekend we had our second annual “Chosen” girls night at GraceLife. We gathered the middle and high school girls together and pampered them with worship and wisdom. I had the great honor of speaking to these beautiful girls who received me with such grace it was easy to forget to be nervous and let God move. The next morning as we were processing together over eggs and bacon, we discussed Lisa Bevere’s advice I shared that as women we should
The girls asked good questions and one stumped me in my post-sleepover haze. What is the difference between lifting and encouraging? My words escaped me. I did my best and the other leaders picked up my shattered explanations and we moved forward in our discussion. So, it shouldn’t have surprised me when, in my morning devotions Sunday, I read in Psalms that word ‘lift’ again.
3 times to be precise.
Psalm 93 verse 3 says: The seas have lifted up first their voice, then their waves. A quick dictionary turn yielded the definition of this word, lift: to move to a higher position.
Now, this psalm is using seas as a representation, a symbol of the chaos in pagan religions that surround the psalmist’s words–juxtaposed with the firmness of the earth in verse 1 and God’s statues in verse 5, I begin to understand the beauty of this word–LIFT.
Lift out of chaos.
Lift into the heavens
Lift onto the firm ground.
Moving from the lower position to the higher position requires strength.
Encouragement does not require strength. When you encourage someone you are giving hope or confidence, telling them they are on the right path. It requires faith and kindness. Maybe even empathy.
But lifting requires backbone..and humility. It requires a willingness to move beneath someone and lend them your strength till they are higher than you.
I lift my niece.
I lift my students.
I lift my friends.
As Jesus lifted me. Lifted us.
We don’t stay lower after we lift someone, but it requires a certain amount of denial of self to lift someone into a higher position.
The seas lift their voice to praise God to a higher position–out of the chaos.
And we do the same.
We lend our strength to lift others out of the chaos and into the presence of God.