Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

12 August 2013

The grand gesture of encouragement

You may have noticed that I have been thinking about the nature of encouragement lately. 

Last Friday evening we found ourselves with a bit of a situation on our hands.  Not overly serious in the end, but it added a layer of emotion and the need for even greater feats of juggling to an already complicated and oversubscribed weekend. 

Just before my head hit the pillow at the late end of that day I received a text message from a sweet, sweet friend who had become aware of said situation.  She simply said that she, her husband and her mother had prayed for this situation and then she wished us good night.

Perfect timing.  At the end of a long day.  Just prior to sleep before the beginning of what was looking like a near impossible day ahead.  And not with the promise to pray, but passing on the message that the prayer had already been prayed.  Perfect, perfect encouragement.

Stumped as to how to encourage someone?  Too time poor to cook meals for someone or write a carefully worded note?  Too resource poor to provide someone with a few days break away?  Too skills-poor to fix that person's garden, finish their home renovation gone wrong or make their car work again?

Sometimes an act of encouragement might seem very small - but it might end up being the grandest of all gestures.  That short text with the prayer behind it spurred me on all weekend.  And thanks be to God the situation is by and large resolved.

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