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photo: © Alexandre Miguel Da Silva Nunes |

Tonight I had a nice quiet visit with one of my sons-in-law. (I wrote this a few weeks ago.)  I was up late writing.  He got in late from work.  He sat down to snack and we started chatting.  The next thing I knew, he was listening to me.  He was asking questions that showed he was listening.  He was speaking kind encouraging words to my life.

Wait a minute!  I’m not used to that.  It’s not supposed to work that way.

Well, actually it is supposed to work that way!  We are to encourage and allow others to encourage us.  It’s just that it is often one-sided.  We are used to letting it happen one way but not the other in certain relationships.  I got caught off guard.  It was good.  He was able to encourage me in some ways that few people would be able to right now.

I have been discouraged because, among other things, I haven’t been able to be the friend I have wanted to be to some good friends in the last year or two.  The demands on me have been such that it hasn’t been possible…or at least my out-of-the-box thinking hasn’t figured out a way.  He reminded me of the priorities I have.  It was a good reminder.  I don’t stop to think that way very often.

I often want to help others when sometimes I have my own husband and family that have needs that I need to help with first.  I often minimize them and keep trying to plow on  doing everything I normally do, but all the other things need to be done too.  I need to find a way to communicate with my needy friends that I am praying for them now as they are healing.  I love them and am sad that I can’t do more for them.  Fortunately, GOD has brought people to them to help.  They are not totally alone.  I just miss not being there.

Meanwhile, I will continue to meditate on the goodness of my GOD, His wisdom that is infinite, eternal and unchangeable; His knowledge that is perfect and thorough…and knows the end from the beginning.  I will remember that “He knows the way I take and when He has tried me I shall come out as gold.”  Job 23:10  He knows I am frail.  It is just that I often forget I am.

I will be thankful for family members GOD has placed in my life to encourage me…and accept that encouragement gratefully and humbly.  I don’t always have to be the one who has the answers and gives the encouragement.  This goes for others in the Body of Christ, the Church as well.

Are you struggling right now even though there are church or family members who want to help you…maybe even have tried…but you push them away?

How can you change your responses to their help in a way that is more receptive to receiving the love they want to give you?