There are times that God provides where we are encouraged; it’s the times we most need it that God slaps our backs with his salvo of support for where we’re at right now, for what we’ve just done; for who we are: love is known by the kindness of encouragement.
And God brings people to us—many times people we would not credit—who would encourage us. I’m reminded of the story of a young woman, a professional basketballer, who was told by 80-something-year-old man that she was “gorgeous.” She found that remark very encouraging. Sometimes from the most unexpected sources come the best of encouragements.
When we live life expecting more of what we don’t ordinarily expect, we live a fuller version of faith. But we must temper such a gregarious faith with the humble realism to never expect such blessings.
There’s a fine line, right there.
We live with expectation that those things God may do may actually occur, but we don’t live driven by those expectations by means of disappointment for when they don’t occur.
It takes faith to know God can do anything—and use anyone in any situation to encourage us. But it also takes humility to accept that many blessings of a surprising nature will not happen, and some will actually appear as injustices to us.
Encouragement in unexpected circumstances is the blessing of God to be enjoyed. God’s providence is real as it is powerful. Such encouragement, however small in nature, is palpable; it carries much weight and makes us fly higher and longer by virtue of the confidence given.
It bodes us well to regard how we might be placed, uniquely and purposefully, by God, to encourage those around us—in the specifics of the things they are doing that people might otherwise rarely notice.
There is such a thing as the gift of encouragement, but everyone, by the rites of kindness, has that role to play. Imagine how God wants to use us to bring glory to another person, by our encouragement, which always brings glory to God.
Unexpected encouragements are truly awesome. Good to rest in these truths, accept them; dwell there for a moment. God is there!
Being used by God to encourage someone with a thoughtful word or act is the key privilege of life. God lifts us as we are deployed in giving genuine kindness. Encouragement is its own gift of grace, power, and love. It’s a gift anyone is privileged to thoughtfully give.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.