She wrote to me for weeks, not short text messages or emails, but lengthy, hand-written letters that I found tucked in my mailbox every day. I was young in my Christian faith, a newborn in my walk with Christ, facing the devastating and unexpected loss of our young daughter. My heart was broken, my fragile faith shaken, my spirit deeply mired in the pit of depression. What I fondly refer to as Connie’s Letters were an oasis during that dry spell, a breath of fresh air, for they were always kind, gracious, uplifting, and understanding. Every stroke of her pen dripped with encouragement, lifting up my weary arms, wiping the tears from my cheeks, simply hugging me via mail. Her faithful letters continued daily until I was able to see past my grief and move on with my Father. She will never know what the investment of her time and those sweet letters meant to this grieving mom, and the impact that her encouragement had on this weary child.
Job, unfortunately, did not have anyone to share his burden as he was experiencing his deep valley of loss. His wife’s advice to him was for Job to release his integrity and “curse God, and die.” His friends were judgmental, cruel, and insensitive to a grieving man whose face was “foul with weeping.” And their counsel concerning God was false, they were indeed “…miserable counselors.” Job vowed that if the roles were reversed and he was comforting a friend, he would “strengthen” them with his mouth, and “assuage” their grief. He would not alienate the one who was in such need of encouragement.
We are reminded in the Book of Proverbs that “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Born for adversity! Loveth at ALL TIMES! YOU may be the special vessel that God has prepared to help His child through a difficult season in their life. When a brother or sister is struggling, guard your words carefully. Kindness and love can give that weary pilgrim the lift they need as they face the storm. “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” When someone in our path is weighed down under the burden of trial and tribulation, with no strength to continue on their own, let’s come up beside them and lift their weary arms, much like Aaron and Hur did when “…Moses’ hands were heavy,” and they came alongside God’s man, helping him endure the battle, lifting and holding up his arms, seeing him through the battle.
So if God places a struggling brother or sister on YOUR heart today, come alongside them, cry with them, allow them room to grieve, place an arm of support on their shoulder, have listening ears, but most of all, simply be kind. Love and compassion, not judgmental words, may be exactly what they need to get back up on their spiritual feet and continue on their walk with Jesus. Connie certainly did that for me, remaining faithful to an unseen and unheralded ministry of compassion and edification. My heart remains thankful to this day that God strategically placed a willing servant in my path when I needed her letters the most.
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Lord, make me keenly aware of who may need my encouragement today. Use me as a tool to share Your love and comfort to someone who is discouraged and overwhelmed.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-618-63d7e23a0c332' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=618&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-618-63d7e23a0c332' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-618-63d7e23a0c332' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>