“By all this we are encouraged. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you” (2 Corinthians 7:13).
The people I’ve met online, with chronic invisible illnesses, are some of the most courageous people I know. Yet most of them really need encouragement. I do too.
Sometimes I really need words of inspiration, help, and support. My number one source for that is the Lord, either through His Word or through prayer. I need His encouragement on a daily basis, sometimes hourly.
Being human, we also need to give and receive encouragement from others too. It’s how God made us.
1. to inspire (someone) with the courage or confidence (to do something)
2. to stimulate (something or someone to do something) by approval or help; support
Many are too ill to go out, make phone calls or even manage the energy to write emails. So, how can we cope in those extended times when human contact is removed?
Of course we go to God in prayer and in reading the Bible. However, we also need treasured words of encouragement from friends or family too.
I have a pretty box of cards that I’ve collected over time. The picture, or the words inside, may be just what I need on a tough day. Perusing them reminds me that I’m loved.
My other comfort is that I have saved a computer file of “Words of Encouragement.” When someone writes an email of encouragement, that brings me tears of joy, or smiles or thankfulness, I save them. Then I add the date and name of the person that sent it. On really tough days, where I feel isolated, miserable and alone I can go to those words and relive the refreshment I felt when I first received it.
In the same way that Titus was refreshed, we can be refreshed too.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You designed us to enjoy encouragement from You and others. Help those, who are lonely, to find ways to encourage others and be encouraged ourselves on those tough days too. Amen.
About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illnesses. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.
What encourages you on a tough day? Do you have practical ideas that will help others here?
This video is the song “Just Showed Up” with Sara Groves. She sings about how life can be hard, dark, lonely, but when she just shows up in life God does amazing things. We have to look up, we have to look forward and see what He has planned for us. The circumstances we are facing today are not the climax of the life God has planned for us. Hold onto this. Maybe He is already working in your circumstances and you just haven’t noticed it yet! -Lisa