Deuteronomy 11:18a – Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds. (NIV)
One morning in November, a lady brought me a lovely cyclamen plant, and it made my day. It was such an encouragement to see someone and have a chat, since I had been housebound for what seemed like forever. Days dragged by when I could not get out, and I waited and hoped that the phone would ring. Each day seemed to grow longer. So that morning, in addition to enjoying the beauty of the magenta-coloured blossoms, I was also left with a lift in my spirits.
Later that day, as I was having my coffee time with God, He put a challenging thought in my mind. While I might not be able to go out or visit, I could reach out to someone who, like me, might be waiting and hoping to hear a friendly voice, and perhaps in so doing, I could make that person's day.
It seemed in that moment of reflection that the Lord brought vividly to my mind a recent experience. I had been out walking when I noticed my neighbour sitting on her front deck, and I waved a casual greeting to her as I passed. When I was on my way back, she stood up and called out somewhat hesitantly, "Do you have time for a cup of tea?" This took me by surprise, since I didn't know her very well, but I knew by her trembling voice that she was very upset, so within a few short minutes, I found myself sitting beside her as she unloaded a heavy weight on her heart. When she asked me to pray with her, I realized that this amazing experience likely would not have happened if I had not taken the time to wave. It was a simple act on my part, but God used it to open a door to bless both of us.
As I thought further about this experience, I once again marvelled at how God will use us if we are prepared to listen and obey His voice. A smile or a simple hello to someone we meet along the way can be an encouragement to them, and I determined to put it into practice more often when I was able to get out and about again. From now on, during our early morning chats, I will be sure to ask Him if there is anyone that He wants me to call. In this way, I can make their day, and, in turn, it will also make my day.
We all want and need to be encouraged, and we have the ability to do that for others. God has given us the gift of speech, and we can use our words to bless and encourage others that He may put on our hearts.
Prayer: Teach us, heavenly Father, to turn to Your Word for encouragement in those times when we tend to forget that You have lovingly planned every experience in our lives. Then help us to commit each situation we encounter to You, and trust You for the necessary strength and guidance that we will need to deal with it. We ask this in Jesus' powerful name. Amen.
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