A friend of mine—who once upon a time was a bible teacher in a church I attended—said that to encourage meant to put courage into.
Dictionary.com defines courage as:
the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
or encourgement is:
something that encourages: Praise is the greatest encouragement.
During the past couple of weeks I have had a couple of old friends drop by my blog and take an interest in some of the things I have written. Their comments have been postitive and certainly appreciated. They have been encouraging—to the point that when I read them I came away laughing and feeling that life has been worth the journey.
Not that I haven’t had a lot of positive feedback from other friends that have meant the world to me. They know who they are and I continue to look to you for help and guidance. I am there for you as well.
What makes these recent comments a bit different is the fact that for a very long time, we (the two friends) attended the same church, went to the same weddings and funerals together—raised our kids together—ate dinner at each other’s houses and on and on. We were the body of Christ together. We loved one another through the difficulties of life and living.
The thought was that we would grow old together—doing much the same thing—only different—as we grew older and wiser and all that stuff.
Then, because of what I now consider a mis-understanding of authority in the church we attended, one friend left—to be followed by the other after several years. After a couple more years, my wife and I recently left this same church.
It goes without saying that each separation was devastating in its own way.
How and why this happened and what we did with the years in-between then and now is not the focus of this little article.
I just wanted to give myself and you a perspective as to why their comments meant so much to me.
We were family and had “salt” between us.
As life has cycled around, we have begun to see each other more and more.
So when they showed up on the pages of my blog, imagine my surprise when they left me with comments that “encouraged” me beyond description.
In other words, their words imparted life and hope and somehow began to heal things on a spiritual level that can only be orchestrated by a Holy God, one who is at work to reconcile everything that can be reconciled. To restore what the canker worm has eaten and what the enemy of our souls has tried to destroy.
I know intellectually that the Latter House will be greater than the Former House. But there has been so much inbetween that has seemed to say just the opposite.
It is one thing for your wife or husband to value you and look out for you. They are always there and hopefully we won’t forget that without them, we wouldn’t even be in any shape to keep running the race.
But to get a word of encourgement from a friend and better still, one that you are not expecting, is over the top.
To begin to realize that our friendships are still being played out in the “Book of Life” that serves to record our goings and comings is a very exciting thought.
Proverbs 25:11 reads: A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Can it get any better than that.
Enjoy your ride today and encourage one another while you still have time.