Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).
Friend to Friend
You have heard the old saying, “What goes around, comes around.” Truer words were never spoken than when we are talking about encouragement. We all need encouragement – especially during the tough times. Those “tough” times can come in all shapes, sizes and forms and can vary from person to person.
We have one child who has been known to run an extremely high fever, walk around on a broken foot, and have a headache that would put me in bed … all without a word of complaint. The doctors have always been amazed at this child’s high level of pain tolerance.
We have another child who has been known to dissolve into hysterics at the sight of a splinter embedded in a finger and turn ghastly pale and almost faint at the mere smell of the doctor’s office. The doctors have been amazed at this child’s low level of pain tolerance.
The difference between these two children does not reflect a right or wrong reaction. It is what it is. When each child was in pain, they both needed understanding, compassion, and encouragement.
When I went through my first major battle with clinical depression, one of the most precious groups of encouragers was the elders of the church where my husband was the pastor. With my permission, Dan shared with them what I was going through and asked them to pray. They did pray. But these men didn’t think prayer was enough. These amazing angels wanted to do more by putting feet and hands to those prayers and did not stop until they came up with a rescue plan for me.
Our church had five services each weekend and because I was so emotionally frail, I never knew which service I would be able to attend until I was on the way. Dan would relay the message that I was coming, and the elders went into action.
One would meet me at the car and escort me inside. Many times, an elder would press a note of encouragement into my hand as he passed the offering plate. If he sensed I was in trouble or caught in a draining conversation, he would swoop in, take me by the arm and say, “Excuse us, please. Mary is needed elsewhere.” I was then ushered to my car, hugged and told, “We are praying for you. We love you. Go home.”
I know. It was amazing! It was also a main factor in my recovery. Those men lived out the truth Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 when he said, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).
I was not alone in my struggle. There are those who suffer alone and in silence, unable to scrape up the courage to share their pain and have no advocate to sound the alarm on their behalf. I believe God will show us how to encourage and build them up. He will show us how to help the weak and be patient with the broken lambs who cross our path … if we ask Him to do so.
Are you willing to share your pain with others and allow God to use them in your life as a source of encouragement? Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the circle of encouragement.
Father, I am amazed at how You love me through others. Thank You for the gift of encouragement. Help me receive that gift and then give it away to someone else in need. I want to be Your hands and feet to those who are hurting around me. Give me eyes to see them and love them, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now it’s Your Turn
Have you ever experienced encouragement that was life-giving?
Leave a comment and note the person’s name who encouraged you.
Remember that experience and commit to giving that encouragement away to someone else today.
More from the Girlfriends
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