This was my day. As I made my way around the upper bowl of Cooper Mountain, I asked God for encouragement. His response.. encourage others. And like a ripple effect deep within my soul, encouragement arrived on the scene as if Jesus had stood up in the boat and calmed the raging sea all over again.
It’s funny. When we seek to focus on encouraging others, it has a way with taking our eyes off of the very need we were hoping to receive encouragement for. It seems to me that when this happens, perhaps it’s a message that we have put too much stock into that which has caused us to need for encouragement in the first place.
Certainly, there are often events in life that can leave one completely depleted and void of any strength to even summons the want or desire to encourage another. Perhaps it is found in those moments where we truly do have a need for Jesus to calm the storm once again. (And He will.. again and again and again.)
But that being said, what’s really cool to me is that isn’t this how God works? You ask for one thing, He responds with asking in return the opposite thing. I needed encouragement and I found it.. in encouraging others.
And here’s the ticker… it was so much fun. Far from my mind was the heaviness of which I was feeling earlier. All I could think of was the other people and their situations each time an opportunity arose to encourage them. I couldn’t wait to have another opportunity to speak words of encouragement over someone.
So, how is it then that one can feel so down and out and in need of hope and encouragement and then just an hour or two later, be so hope filled and encouraged?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I couldn’t do this in my own strength or power. I needed God’s strength and power. So, please don’t make this about me and acts of service to others. This was plain and simple about God. His bridge to encouragement for me was one that crossed the raging river of need of encouragement for others.
What scares me is that I could have missed it. And when the fear of missing opportunities like these overcomes the fear of whatever it is that you were fearing in the first place, know this… this is a good place.
Yet too often, we do miss it. And when we do, don’t beat yourself up. Simply seek to then draw closer to God and simply be.. within His embrace. Why? Because there is a better place than simply a good place…
For when the joy of serving others overcomes the fear of whatever it was that you were fearing in the first place, know this… this is the right place. For this seems to me to be a “seek ye first the Kingdom” kind of place.
And when we are in that place, we know this… that thing that caused fear in you that created a need for encouragement, more than likely, it was because we probably took on the weight of seeking ye first “all these things” so that the Kingdom shall be added unto us and not that of seeking ye first the Kingdom so that all these things shall be added unto us.
Funny how that works. No wonder JOY can be broken down as:
Hmm. What a night. Thank you God for the encouragement!
Need encouragement? Sow it.