Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Power of Encouragement

Monday was a civic holiday here in Canada, locally known as Simcoe Day. I say, “locally known,” since every part of the country gives it another name. [But that is another, and very Canadian, story!] Anyway, a day off meant a day to work with my neighbour to build a fence between our lots.

We had rented a mongo, earth-moving, two-man auger and had all the supplies, but I knew we were going to be hard-pressed to finish the job in a day. So, I mentioned to a couple of guys at church on Sunday that I could use the help if they were around.

Monday morning at 7AM Paul and Steve showed up! Booyah! What an encouragement! Even more – they stayed and worked hard for 14 hours... with only two small breaks to eat. And not once, not even slightly, did they ever complain, drag their feet or look for ways to back out. I cannot tell you how deeply encouraging that was for me. Now, the fence did not seem so daunting and the labour did not feel so hard. And we almost got done! [And would have got done had I not crushed my hand between the gas auger and my shed... but again, that’s another story!]

Yesterday, I was making some pastoral visits and had the opportunity to encourage some discouraged brothers and sisters. In one instance, I watched one of these saints transform before my very eyes – from defeat and discouragement to hope and life!

These last two days have reminded me of the incredible power of encouragement. No wonder the Bible tells us to “encourage one another day after day.”

When was the last time you deliberately encouraged another saint?