Bonnie asked us to write about encouragment. I share below a post I wrote for (In)Courage last October. In the process of encouraging others I learned how God desires to encourage me!
I delight in giving gifts, little trinkets, tokens of beauty to surprise the people I love. I find that it is a way to encourage someone who might need a touch from the Lord. So imagine how thrilled I was to find stones engraved with words of inspiration at a bargain store. I piled all of the packages they had on the shelf into my cart, well pleased with my discovery.
I gave a heart marked love to my mother the afternoon I accompanied her to the first of her chemotherapy treatments. As tears flowed with equal abandon down both of our faces, I suggested she keep it close as a reminder of both God’s love and mine.
I gave one faith stone to a young friend departing for five months of bible and missions training in Africa. This would be her first time away from home, and I wanted her to remember that the plans God has for her are good.
Another stone bearing the word joy served as a farewell gift to a church friend moving out of town. She was sad to be walking away from our customary Sunday morning greeting hugs. I told her to consider herself embraced and cherished each time she felt the stone in her pocket.
I began to carry a few stones in my purse, so I would always have one on hand should the Holy Spirit prompt me to share. The other day I noticed that one rock at a time, I had given away almost all of them.
Only three remained; truth, faith and hope. As I spread them out on the table before me something shifted and settled in my spirit. When I know the truth I can walk in faith that God is Who He says He Is which allows me to live in hope.
I sensed God telling me:
Know Me – know truth
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 NIV
Know Me – know faith
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God Romans 10:17 NKJV
Know Me – know hope
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NLT
I am keeping these three as a gift to myself, a reminder of where to place my focus and my trust. I will carry them with me in the same way I carry His Word in my heart. When I feel the cool smoothness in my hands, I will look forward to the day He promises to me.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. Revelation 2:17 NKJV
What promises are you storing in your heart?
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