Our church is in the middle of a 15 day season of prayer for church renewal. Today's passage was from Hebrews 10 (see above) and the part about encouraging one another struck a chord with me.
Everyone has something that they could use encouragement about. And God gives us all opportunities to encourage someone else. In fact, in my experience, when I have followed the leading to call or write a note or give a hug or pray for/with someone, it has always given me a boost and a blessing, not just the one God put on my heart.
So, I'd encourage you to think about people you know. Is there someone (or many someones) who God is nudging you to reach out to? Here's who it might be:
- a first-time mom (or a mom with a toddler and a newborn)
- a college student living away from home
- a person who is dealing with a tough or broken marriage
- a caregiver to a loved one with a chronic illness
- someone who lives alone
- a busy mom with school-aged kids who is pulled in many different directions
This list is not exhaustive. Everyone needs encouragement. Everyone needs compassion. Everyone needs to be reminded that God's promises are true and that He can be trusted.
The cool thing is that I see encouragement happening all the time, whether on Facebook, or in person, or just hearing someone tell about how they were encouraged by a friend. It's a beautiful thing to see.
My friend who is going through an incredibly tough season walking with her husband through cancer wrote on their blog:
"We are thankful every moment for the people who walk with us through this time, but I was reminded to be especially thankful for your prayers and your faith. If the Lord chooses to heal Emmett, it will not be because of our faith, but because of the faithful love and prayers of our friends. We hear specifically each day about how someone has carried us in prayer to the Lord, and my heart rejoices each time at your great faith. The way in which we carry each other’s burdens to the Lord in prayer directly affects the outcome of each of our lives. Does that encourage you to pray for other people? I am certainly encouraged to pray specifically, fervently, and boldly, and not just for us, for all the people I know who have burdens. I suppose that is pretty much everyone, huh?"
Be encouraged to encourage!