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I dropped by a friend’s office a few weeks ago just to say hello. I found her staring at the computer screen with such intensity she didn’t even know I was there. After a couple of minutes of quietly waiting and watching I said, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ She replied, ‘Oh, nothing much, just frustrated.’
After our familiar exchange of hello’s we spent a few minutes talking about all the things that were impacting her life. Before I knew it we were talking about a lot more than frustrations. Between work and home, her ‘plate’ was full of issues that were stealing her joy and draining her energy. And, she could not seem to find her way out of the darkness and into the light.
The secular world makes it so easy to get caught up in the negative day-to-day struggles and forget the many positives we have to be thankful for. In this case, I felt like my role as her friend was to assess the situation as quickly as I could, and start to work on encouraging her to move forward.
God’s word in 2 Timothy 1:3 tells us that friends are a constant source of encouragement. I believe that with my whole heart. I have been blessed so many times by others. Sometimes it was a simple phone call, an email or text, a card in the mail, or spoken words that reminded me I was worthy of so much more than the messes or burdens that life throws us.
Encouraging others is a blessing. It could be your calling card. You could be the motivator, the cheerful giver, the good friend, or the high point to someone’s day. It’s so much more meaningful to be the ray of sunshine than the cloud of doom and gloom. In 1 Thessalonians 5, His word clearly says that we are to:
• Build each other up,
• Live in peace,
• Encourage the timid
• Be patient,
• Be joyful,
• Pray continually
• Give thanks
• Count on God’s constant help
People love to know they matter. Tell those around you what they mean to you. Specifically list qualities and strengths you appreciate about them. Remind them that even in the midst of trials and tribulations, God is in control. Above all, give thanks to your Heavenly Father for all of the gifts He has blessed you with. In fact, make a list of all He has provided and give Him thanks for each one.
As we look to the week ahead think about how you could be a source of joy and strength for others. Be a reflection of God’s love and be a constant source of encouragement for those around you. His presence gives us all the love and assurance we need to cheer on those who need it most. I’ll be praying for you.