You may not be a football player. Or an athlete. Or a high school basketball star? Or a baseball team owner. Or a stadium manager. Or anyone at all that traditionally would concern themselves with cheerleaders. But I’m not talking about traditional cheerleaders. I’m talking about a totally different kind of cheerleaders – the kind I believe all of us should have, whether we realize it or not.
Cheerleaders? Yes. People who encourage us. Pom poms and all. I have cheerleaders. I know all about them. I have leaned heavily on them through the years. So who are they? And what are they? My cheerleaders are men and women of God who love me, encourage me, pray for me, pat me on the back, kick me in the butt when I really need it, laugh with me, cry with me, cry for me, pray for me, pray with me, point me to God when I’m looking the wrong way, edify me, inspire me, and so very much more.
Most importantly of all, they intercede for me, stand in the gap for me, have faith in God for me, and make absolutely sure they do everything they know how to ensure I never quit, never give up, never spiral backward and downward because they believe God’s got a beautiful plan for my life – and they are committed to cheering me along to live an overcoming, victorious, abundant life in which I love and obey the Lord above all else. Now how’s that for a mouthful? I couldn’t help myself. How could I leave any of that out?
In a nutshell, my cheerleaders are my human angels. The Lord has undoubtedly sent them to me, and He has sent them for me, and most of all, they are for Him. Some people would say they are His hands and feet in skin in my life. I would say more importantly, they show me His heart. They show me His love. They show me His mercy. They show me His forgiveness. They show me that they are not giving up on me because He refuses to give up on me.
Now wait a minute, you say. In fact, you ask. Are these cheerleaders human? Don’t they ever mess up? Yes, yes. Yes! Emphatically, I say, yes! They mess up all the time. Just like we all do. Just like cheerleaders at football games. They take their falls. They have their spills. Sometimes, they even quit. They quit acting as cheerleaders. Sometimes, they go their own way. Sometimes, they quit their job being my cheerleaders. Sometimes, God calls them to another assignment. Sometimes, we have a falling out. Sometimes, they go to heaven. Sometimes, they get sick. Or too busy. They fall short. Oh yes, they fall short. Then what? God sends more. Others. He never stops sending me cheerleaders. Edifiers. Encouragers. Hey, is that a word? Well, I don’t know. But let’s just assume it is. Because that’s what they do most of all. They love and encourage me.
How could I ever thank God enough for all the zillions of cheerleaders He has sent me throughout my life? While He is steadfast, while He never leaves or forsakes me, He knows that it helps to have some humans around too to help me out in my journey following Jesus.
Want to know the best part of all? Just recently, I realized I have undergone such a phenomenal transformation in my heart and life that I’m no longer the little kid on the block wishing I were in high school so I could try out for the cheerleaders’ squad. You know why? Because God has called me to do the very same thing. When once, not so very long ago in fact, it seemed I would never get beyond needing and receiving help from God and from all my cheerleaders and not feeling I had very much at all to give to others nor the strength and energy and equipping and preparation to really be there to encourage others, my life has turned around.
And all of a sudden I realize I still have my cheerleaders. But now I am a cheerleader myself. I am an encourager. Yes, there’s that word again. Now I find myself encouraging others. Lots of them. Because I love nothing more than to love and serve the Lord with all my heart and to love my neighbor as myself. And, in so doing, I have endless opportunities to share the Gospel and minister the Lord’s love to a world in need. So I find myself doing what I have witnessed so many others do in my life. I have become a cheerleader!
Come on! You can do it! Don’t give up! Don’t quit! Don’t go down that path! God loves you! Read the Bible! Study it! Check out that scripture! I’m positive you can do what God’s calling you to do! And on and on. And on. Yeah! Yeah! Pom poms? Nah. Don’t know where to buy them. Or how to use them. Ponytail? Hair’s too short. Mini skirt? Too old for that. Bobby socks? Do they still wear them? I’m showing my age. Okay, maybe I don’t have the outfit. But I have the heart. His heart. Beating inside of me. And I have my salvation, and His Word, and lots of preparation and equipping. Ready to cheer on the world around me in seeking, and finding, and developing, an intimate, personal, love relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and my beloved Father in heaven.
Got cheerleaders? I do. If you don’t, find them. And, in the meantime, consider this. I’d love to be your cheerleader. If you need love, prayer, friendship, or anything at all I can do for you, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to call me at 843-338-2219.