Recently while we were visiting Texas, I was waiting for my husband to pick me up. A young attractive woman dressed in pink scrubs sat down on the opposite end of the park bench where I was waiting. She had a text book in one hand and a phone in the other. As she sat, she hung her head and it was obvious she was avoiding eye contact.
I sat there trying to mind my own business, like I tend to do in bigger cities. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed her crying. For the longest time I tried to keep to myself, but something inside of me compelled me to say something. When I asked what she was studying it only brought more tears, but it opened a conversation.
She was a mother of four who just started school to become a dental hygienist. She was completely stressed with trying to balance home life and school and she was ready to quit. Before the end of our conversation I felt the need to say, “I don’t know you, but I believe in you. I know you can do this!“
We often think we should be strong enough to do things on our own, but every one of us needs encouragement. I know I do. We live in a world in which sin tries to steal our joy. Discouragement is one of Satan’s greatest tactics to crush our spirits. He thrives on creating fear and anxiety. When there is no encouragement people feel unloved, forgotten or useless. It’s encouragement that can bring joy and life and peace and a new source of energy.
Encouraging others isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s what Christ commands us to do. God knows His people. He knows that life is not always easy. In fact, He himself said there would be trials. That is why He commanded us to encourage one another. He knew we would need it.
“but encourage each other daily while it is called today so that none of you is hardened by deception.” – Hebrews 3:13
“encourage and comfort one another and build one another up just as you are in habit of doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
As believers, we are Jesus’ hands and feet here on earth. God uses us to spread His love to others. When we encourage someone, we have opportunity to speak truth into their life. Encouragement can change perspective and change lives.
We are not created to run this race alone.
One verse I have always loved…
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” – Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10
It wasn’t long before it was time for the the young woman to depart… As she got up, she started to walk away, but before she got into her car, she looked back and said in her Texas accent, “Thank you ma’am I needed to hear that today.”
I was so thankful for Gods prompting to say something. It would have been easy for me to ignore. I’ve missed those opportunities before. We both received encouragement that day.
Let’s continually look for ways we can build one another up in obedience to Christ. You never know when a small gesture of encouragement can make a significant difference in another’s life.