Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Gift of Encouragement

Did you know that encouragement is a gift?  Just the other day, I almost missed out on being a blessing and receiving a blessing, simply because I didn't feel like getting out on potentially icy and snowy roads.  It would have been much easier to stay home and relax, rather than attend an optional training session for teachers at the college where I work.

After dropping my nephew off at work, I realized that the roads were in pretty good shape.  I felt a prompting in my heart that I should go, and I had just enough time to change into presentable clothing and dash off to the event.  When I got there, I sat with several colleagues and excitedly showed them the cover design for my book The Thankful Principle that was beautifully created by my friend Tracy.

The women were all interested in hearing more about the book, so I gladly shared details about The Thankful Principle and the impact that Philippians 4:6-7 has had on my life.  All four women were receptive to my testimony and commented that they were excited about the book and would like to read it when it becomes available.  We had a great time of sharing that morning over breakfast, as we waited for the training to begin.

As the uplifting conversations continued through our lunch break, I learned things about each of the women that revealed to me God's plan to encourage them that very day.  I realized that by sharing the Thankful Principle with them, I had spiritually equipped them to fight their daily battles.  Whether they were dealing with health issues, a divorce, a grown son recovering from the devastating effects of a stroke, a challenging teenage child, or some other personal concern, practicing thankfulness to God would empower them to deal with the issues that were consuming them and help them to experience God's peace in their lives.

All day long, I kept thinking to myself how wonderful our time together had been.  I marveled at the fact that I had almost missed it.  I wondered about how many other times I have missed out on giving or receiving a blessing because I took the easier route.  Only God knows, but I am seeing that when I am obedient to his prompting, I am more in tune with what God would have me to do the next time.

Isn't it wonderful that when we make the extra effort, God gives us opportunities to bless others and to receive a blessing?  I love it when that happens.

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