Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm Behind You: A Devotional for a Wednesday

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” Romans 12:10, NASB

Before I married a preacher, I worked a short time as a waitress. I learned a valuable phrase I my first day on the job, spoken to fellow servers: “I’m behind you.”

No one wants to turn around and cannon into a tray brimming with hot coffee, Denver omelets, and oatmeal with raisins. Fifteen Cub Scouts and their troop leader get impatient when you have to re-scoop their ice cream because you dropped the original bowls on the floor after forgetting to say, “I’m behind you!” to the busboy. It’s wise to let people know of a potential mess, so you both can avoid it.

Tonight Kevin was getting a pizza out of the oven. I walked behind him, carrying our salad bowls. Although thirty-five years have passed since I served food professionally, I still said, “I’m behind you.” When those three words hit the air, they gripped my heart in a new way. I was not simply telling Kev to “watch out;” I was helping him succeed at his task of the moment. I was supporting him. We all need this kind of help.

Are you struggling to make ends meet on a stingy budget? If I slip a ten in your pocket, I’m behind you.
Do you doubt if your marriage can last one more night, or one more fight? If I listen and pray for strength for you, I’m behind you.
Is your kid making choices that break your heart? If I hug you and say “Don’t give up,” I’m behind you.
Are you afraid of what the doctor might find on the next test? If I pray for your healing and tell you “I love you,” I’m behind you.
Do you wonder where your dream got lost? If I encourage you to keep hoping, I’m behind you.

Rebuking and finding fault rarely motivate anyone to succeed. Most of us avoid critical, sour individuals. But we love to be near people who bring out the best in us, helping us believe in ourselves and our dreams. We achieve things we thought impossible by having just one or two caring friends say, “I’m behind you.”

You can be that friend to someone today. Instead of turning your back on a need or mocking a dream, be wise enough to say, “I’m behind you. Let me help you succeed.” For your fellow servers, it will make the difference between messes to clean up or miracles to celebrate.


  1. What a wonderful post! So true. I was a waitress too. :-)

  2. Oh Jen, this is beautiful! Especially for me. I'm first day with my students is today. I'll get 24 5th graders and I want them all to know I'm behind them!!!

  3. What an encouraging post, Jen! As a SAHM, I'm with my children all of the time and there are days when it feels like I'm doing more of the rebuking than the encouraging. I really want it to be the other way! Thanks for reminding me of how important it is to be behind them!

  4. This message is still important when my children have flown the nest. Maybe especially then because they want to "do it on their own," but still need my encouragement. Thanks for the timely reminder. I am behind them and they should know it.

  5. Beautifully put. I once waited tables too...and there were other ways people were behind me. It always warmed my heart when someone would see how busy I was and run food to one of my tables for me. Or refill someone's drink. It made all the difference...and I'd remember that and try to do the same for others whenever I got the chance.

  6. Very interesting correlation. I love words. You have increased that love by showing the many different ways to say, "I'm behind you."

    Great job!


  7. Jeanette:
    I tried waitressing when I was 19. It wasn't my long suit. But I really like the thought of telling someone with a need, "I'm behind you."

  8. This was so encouraging to me, and I know just who to encourage with this as well. Thank you!

  9. Beautiful! I'm going to re-read it after my comment! I so want to serve the Lord and if that means being a servant to all so be it!

  10. Jeanette you have a wonderful way of "bringing home" things with a spiritual concept. I love the verse that says God is our "rear guard." Thanks for reminding me to "be behind" others.


  11. What a lovely post! Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Thanks, Jen, for being YOU!
    Too bad we can't clone your indefatigable spirit!


  13. Thanks you guys. You keep me going.
    Love, Jen

  14. I'm a former waitress also. Very sweet post and great message!

  15. Wondeful post! I wanted to tell you I recieved my package in the mail from you and loved the devotional you put in with the CD. Thank you so much! I can't wait to listen to Mary's words.
    Thank you for being an encouragement to so many:))


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