“But encourage one another as long as it is called Today…” I was reminded of these words this week, in the midst of some trying circumstances. I am grateful to God for the folks he has placed in my life.
Last week I wrote about a discouraging time in our community. The major event was the suicide of a guy who had become very dear to us. On Wednesday we had a memorial for him and I found myself sharing about two laws at work in our world. There is the Law of Gravity and the Law of Aerodynamics. Both of these laws are in constant effect. One is not repealed in order for the other to work! So it is with the law of sin and death and the law of grace and mercy. Death is not repealed it is overcome! With these words though I too had a heavy heart, I encouraged my friends. I don’t believe I could have offered much encouragement though if I had not been given so much in the past week.
Shortly after I published last week’s blog I began to receive encouraging emails and calls from folks. Some from quite near but others at great distances. A great encouragement came in the form of an invitation to visit an older gentleman, who has been suffering acutely from health difficulties for some time. He has long been a mentor and prayer warrior for me but I have not been able to visit because of his health issues. When he heard that I was going through a tough time he sent a message that he would like a visit. I gladly took up this offer but the visit was more for me than for him. It was apparent that he was concerned for my wellbeing. I’m so encouraged because, I know our ½ hour visit took a lot out of him but that he wanted to encourage me.
Last Friday at our drop in we were met at the door by our friend who had fallen so far I could not imagine how he could be restored. Last time I had talked to him was to ask him firmly to leave a gathering we were having. We had not parted on the best of terms. With some trepidation I greeted him and quite quickly he was apologizing and telling me of his plans to ‘move out west’ for work and get a fresh start. He knew he had burned a lot of bridges here and wanted to start new. It was God joining in on the chorus of encouragement! Linda and I left the drop in that night so much lighter than we had trudged in!
The gift of encouragement like the gift of kindness does require special abilities, any of us can do it! It does require our action though. We must pick up the phone or tap on the key board or extend an invitation. This much needed gift can and should be exercised by all of us. Now that I have felt its keen power I am all the more determined to be useful in this way. Can I encourage you to do the same?