Rocky, The Encourager

6 Feb

Earlier this week I attended the funeral of a man who was a great encouragement to people worldwide. His life verse was Philemon 1:7,


“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,

because you, my brother,

have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”


As I listened to several members of his family and friends speak about the impact of his life on those around him, it was obvious that he was an encouragement. I, myself, have been a recipient of that encouragement through direct and indirect means. I also couldn’t help but think of the life of the man I married 31 years ago today, and how his life mirrors this verse as well.


An online dictionary defines “encourage” as follows: “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope; to attempt to persuade; to spur on; to give help.” Encourage is much the same as the word “exhort” in the Bible. It speaks of coming alongside someone to give aid, help, comfort, etc. It’s a picture of linking arms with someone to give support. Rocky fits this description well.


Through our years of marriage Rock has inspired me to hope when mine was waning. His confidence in Christ’s power to work in any situation and God’s sovereignty over it, encourage me to look to the Lord and not the circumstances of life. He is sometimes called “VOR” (voice of reason) because he is able to sift through my emotional upheaval and let me see the reason behind something or the reasonable response to a situation. His encouragement has given me courage to try new venues for expressing what I’m learning from God’s Word. I’ve witnessed his encouragement to our children in the challenges and highlights of their lives. He weekly spurs on his Sunday School class as well as the group of men with whom he meets to godly living as he shares God’s Word and the life-changing truths in it. Friends often call him for counsel or help. He chooses to lock arms with them to give support in their time of need. His acceptance of people where they are and for what God can do for them, gives them comfort, and is a challenge for me to view people with God’s eyes and not my own.


I can truly say that for 31 years of marriage, God has shown me love through Rocky. Sharing life and love with Rock has given me great joy and encouragement. My heart is refreshed when I’m with him. I totally recognize that this is because of God’s grace, and is not something I have earned or deserved. I’m grateful for the years we’ve had and look forward to what the Lord has for us in the future as we seek by His power alone to “magnify the Lord and exalt His name together” (Psalm 34:3).  


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