Encouragement for Today
“The Stained Glass Window”
Zoe Elmore, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Matthew 6:28-29 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these”. (NIV)
Each summer about one hundred of us gather for a family reunion; and two years ago each adult brought an item they had handcrafted. It was amazing to see all of the talent within my family. Someone had fashioned a dining room table with inlaid pieces of exotic wood; quilts hung on the wall that were completely handmade without the use of a sewing machine; paintings in oils and pastels were brought; even portraits of beloved grandchildren. One item caught my eye in particular; it was a stained glass window. My cousin, Thomas, had fashioned one of the most beautiful pieces I’d ever seen. I spent most of the reunion admiring his handiwork – secretly hoping that one day I would be able to purchase one of his amazing pieces.
Last year, as the family gathered once again and each one displayed their handiwork, I eagerly searched for new pieces of stained glass to admire but was disappointed to see that Thomas had not brought any of his pieces.
As the reunion began to wind down and the last crumbs of dessert were brushed from the tables, Thomas asked me to join him outside. As I approached his car, he opened the door, reached in and pulled out a beautiful stained glass window with my name on it. “Here” he said, ”I made this just for you.” I was speechless (for the first time ever). The window was filled with lilies. Beautifully colored pieces of yellow, pink and purple glass made up each petal; stems and leaves were crafted in shades of green. As we held the window up to the sun, each color danced on the ground below. It took my breath away. It was beautiful and this piece of handiwork was mine.
As I studied each piece of colored glass that had been carefully put into place – I was reminded of the verses in Matthew 6:28-29, where Christ tells us that the lilies of the field do not worry, yet they are tended to by the master gardener and have everything they need to grow and bloom into glorious splendor.
Thomas had no idea as he fashioned that beautiful window of lilies that my husband’s job would soon be eliminated. It was God who directed Thomas’ hands. God sees the past, present and the future. He is able to anticipate and provide what is needed. God knew that I would need to be encouraged throughout this difficult and uncomfortable time, and He sent me a beautiful reminder of His presence and provision.
Over the next 10 months as my husband searched for work, our heavenly Father cared for us so tenderly, just like he cares for the lilies of the field. I would often stare at my stained glass window, quietly praying for a way to encourage my husband and thanking God for His continued provision.
This experience has enabled my faith to grow and bloom into what I hope is as beautiful as the lilies in my stained glass window. It has also given me an opportunity to encourage others who are experiencing difficult and uncomfortable circumstances.
Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrows keep you Human,
Failure keeps you Humble,
Success keeps you Glowing,
Only God keeps you Growing.
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, You are wonderful and marvelous indeed as You care for me and my family. Your provision is always perfect. I renew my commitment to trust You each day, even though I cannot see Your plans. I pray that my life will blossom forth, and that I will have an opportunity to share Your love and grace with others who need to be encouraged. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Renew your commitment to trust God in every circumstances of your life.
Begin an encouragement journal, and use this as a way to praise God for His provision.
Have a section in your journal for lessons learned and use these to encourage others.
How can I demonstrate my trust in God even though my life is difficult?
What lessons have I learned in trusting God throughout this difficult time?
Who can I reach out to and encourage today?
Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (NIV)
Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV)
Psalm 3:3, “But You are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.” (NIV)
Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (NIV)
Intimate Moments with God, by selected authors
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst
Message of the Month Club