"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13
"I can't go any further" said my 8 year old as we were skiing down one of the green/blue (easy/intermediate) runs at a ski resort in Colorado. It was our first time out this year, my youngest son was going through the same emotions that my other 2 kids had gone through also about this age.
I was so proud of my older kids (14 yr old and 18 yr old) for offering encouragement to their younger brother the entire time we skied. It wasn't easy for them though. My oldest loves to ski the black diamond runs (expert terrain) with my husband. My daughter enjoys the nice blue (intermediate) runs and an occasion black run with me. It took alot of reminding for them to realize that they had both been in the same position in years past.
Since today was my daughter's birthday, it was a great time to gently remind her of a time when she refused to ski down the rest of the mountain too when I was pregnant with her little brother. Thankfully, my father-in-law was there to carry her skiis while I gave her a piggyback ride the rest of the way down the mountain. While a few people gave me some strange looks, several women (they had to be mothers) just smiled at me and offer a nod of encouragement as I skied past them with my crying daughter on my back. We made it safely to the bottom of the mountain that day just as we did today with my son.
I have discovered that the a warm cup of hot chocolate after a hard ski day "hits the spot" for children as well as adults.
Throughout scripture believers are told to encourage one another. Why you might ask. Everyone needs occasional encouragement. At various times in our lives, we all go through periods of physical, emotional, or spiritual tiredness. It is at those times we need to hear words of encouragement from others. Encouragement can come in the form of a smile, a hug, a note in the mail from a friend, an email, a posting on their FB, blog, or twitter account.
The Lord can also offer us encouragement during times of prayer and reading His Word. If you have memorized scripture, sometimes, God brings a scripture to our thoughts at just the right time during the week. There are so many ways God can offer us encouragement.
My first challenge for you (and myself) today is to pray for God's sensitivity for others regarding the area of encouragement. Since there are no coincidences only God-incidences, ask Him to put you in the right place at the right time to be His instrument of encouragement to others as they need it.
My second challenge for you it to allow others believers in Christ to serve Him by encouraging you on those days when you need encouragement. Too often, we want to give to others but we feel funny being on the receiving end. Let others be obedient to God's direction to them. Let them minister to you when you need it.
Be encouraged today. May God's peace fill you with hope, love, and encouragement.