And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
This weekend was a getaway of sorts. A getaway from the everyday. A time to enjoy the fellowship of sweet friends, to encourage and be encouraged, to enjoy a little travel along the countryside, to snap some photos, and spend more sweet time with my sweetheart.
Our friends from Pennsylvania were visiting family a few hours away and generously invited us to come down and spend some time with them. These aren’t just any friends, these are friends that write the blog Daily Encouragement Net. And right now in our lives, encouragement from these two in person sounded like just what the Doctor ordered.
And encourage they did! As I’ve written before, life is changing for us. As we seek God’s direction for our future in light of my husband’s disability, it is good to hear the thoughts, suggestions, and encouragement of others. Our sweet friends were the perfect ones to share this with, as they are chaplains, have worked in ministry for decades, and have so much wisdom to share.
We haven’t known each other long. In fact, this is only the second time we’ve been with them. My husband started reading their blog a few years back and connected with them online. When we traveled to Pennsylvania for David to preach a revival, we connected and met them there for the first time. Even then they graciously opened their home and welcomed us with loving arms.
As a new blogger, I was especially interested to hear about how they got started with their online ministry and share some ideas we have for possible projects in our future. They listened and asked questions. They took a look at this blog and offered suggestions. We laughed, we shared, we listened, we worshipped, we prayed. And we came away from our weekend refreshed.
Refreshed. Restored. Ready for more…of whatever God has for us.
That’s what encouragement does. It lifts up those who are weary and worn and gives them a boost. It is like fresh air being blown into a room that’s stale and still and stuck. It breathes new life into it.
We needed this encouragement from our friends. God knew that. And God sent them our way and gave them such generous hearts to reach out to us and offer their gift of love.
We all need friends. Friends can come from many different places and circumstances. But brothers and sisters in Christ are special friends. We just connect. We’re family.
Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
God brings us together at specific times for specific purposes. Sometimes God gives us close-by friends. These friends are around us a lot and know us well. Other times, God sends us special friends right when we need them—at a certain time in a certain place.
I want to be both. I want to be the kind of friend that is always near, standing ready to share and uplift, give a hug or be a shoulder to cry on. And I want to be that certain kind of friend that God places in others’ lives for a special purpose, encouraging them as they go through those weary and worn spots in life. Generous and gracious and loving.
Like our friends, Stephen and Brooksyne.
Thank You, Father, for the blessing of friends. Thank You for the encouragement that flows from You into our lives through the love of another. May we be an encouragement to everyone you place in our lives, to lift up the weary and worn, to refresh and revive those weighed down by troubles, and to point them always back to You. Help us to be instruments of Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Stephen and Brooksyne's ministry at www.dailyencouragement.net has been such a blessing to us. Please click on the link and check it out. I know you will be blessed, too.
All Scripture is from the New International Version of the Bible, 1984. Images: Sabra Penley