Encouragement for Today
Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker Team Member
Galatians 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (NIV)
A few days during the summer months, my children and I love to surprise “Daddy” at work and take him out to lunch. We have some very interesting conversations during this time together. Usually our chats begin with Dad asking how everyone’s day is going. Immediately, the kids compete to share their stories. I recall one luncheon when Peyton, our daughter, dramatically shared with her Dad about watering the flowers earlier that day.
“It was so hot this morning that the poor daisies could barely hold their heads up,” she explained, “Helplessly, they were already beaten down by the hot ole sun and begging for a drink of water!”
“Flowers can’t talk,” interrupted her little brother.
“Oh, yeah?” she argued, placing her hands firmly on her hips, “That’s what you know.”
Picking up where she had been so rudely interrupted, Peyton continued telling her story in a theatrical style.
“As I gave the daises a cool, refreshing drink from the water pitcher, they slowly lifted up their heads…smiled…and thanked me.”
“They did not,” argued her brother.
“Did, too!” insisted Peyton.
Seeing the opportunity to add a spiritual application to Peyton’s story and to prevent blood shed, I intervened and shared how flowers are a lot like people.
I explained to my children that sometimes when we see others with their heads bowed low; it may mean that they, too, are feeling beaten and worn by life. Just like the flowers, they need someone to come along side of them with a cool drink of encouragement. And just as the water revived the daisies, our compassion can re-energize a weary soul and lift her spirit. As Christians, God expects us to “bear one another’s burdens.” “I want to be the kind of family that cares for others, don’t you?” I challenged my kids.
Later that afternoon, God provided an opportunity to live out that challenge. The kids and I were shopping at one of my favorite stores for jewelry to match the outfit I was planning to wear to my husband’s 20th year high school reunion. Bored to tears, my son sat on the floor with his knees up to support his arms, as he rested his face in the palm of his hands. While I was entranced by the jewelry, Peyton noticed the young girl behind the counter with her head hung low.
“Having a good day?” Peyton asked.
“It’s okay,” the teenager replied.
“I know how to make it better,” Peyton continued in a soft, caring way. “By reminding you that Jesus loves you.”
Just like the daisies, the girl slowly lifted her head, smiled, and thanked Peyton for reminding her of Christ’s love.
I have to admit, my children don’t usually catch on that quickly to one of my life lessons. While I was a somewhat ashamed that I didn’t notice the girl, I was proud that my daughter did, and that she also had the courage to obey God by offering her a kind word.
In the end, we were all blessed. Peyton experienced true joy by helping another, the girl felt encouraged that someone cared enough to comment, and I was thankful that, by the grace of God, He allowed me to see that my children do want to be the kind of family who cares for others.
What about you? Who do you know who is beaten down and wearied by life? A word of encouragement from you just might be the refreshment she needs to lift her head and see that she is not alone.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, I can be so concerned about my own affairs that I don’t notice when others are hurting. Open my eyes so that I can see those in my life who need encouraging, and help me to be a blessing to them today. Amen.
We all know someone who needs a lift. Take the time today to show them you care and that they don’t have to go it alone. Send a card, make a phone call, take them to lunch, or bake them a cake. You’ll both be blessed.
How often do you encourage others?
Are you too busy to see the needs of others?
What can you do on a daily basis to remind yourself to be a blessing to others?
What blessings do you receive when you help someone carry his or her burden?
Romans 12:10,11,13: “Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other. (11) Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. (13) When God’s children are in need, you be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night.” (LB)
Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.” (NLT)
The Art of Helping, by Lauren Littauer Briggs
Diving Secrets of Mentoring, by Carol Brazo
P31 Woman Magazine
The Art of Tea and Friendship, by Sandy Lynam Clough