Recently, I have been in some relationships where I have been providing support to two different women going through difficult seasons in their lives. What does that entail? For me, it hasn’t meant a lot. I’ve often wished I could do more than I have done.
It often means meeting occasionally for a meal or coffee where we can talk. They are often updating me on what is happening in their lives and I offer them encouragement for their lives today. It may be reinforcing positives I see in them…either positive changes that are happening or positive moves that need to be made. stop
GOD is working and He cares for them way more than I do. And I care a lot! Of course, it also means prayer on my part, when I am away from them. It means keeping up by text when we can’t get together. (Their lives are very busy!)
But when I become discouraged or when I need support, then what happens? What do I have in place to provide support to others so I don’t become depleted?
What support systems do I need so I can provide spiritual support to others?
I need personal devotional time for growth of course. I need personal time in GOD’s Word and personal time in prayer as well as time to read and study…or listen and take in from pod casts and audio books.GOD uses the preaching of His Word as a means of grace for us, to support us as we work in the Kingdom. Click To Tweet
I have some of the standard support systems we all need such as Sunday morning worship. It is no small thing. Having time to worship corporately is very encouraging as we hear GOD’s Word read aloud…often we read it together aloud. Anything that helps the service move from a “sit and soak” mentality is always great! But hearing GOD’s Word read aloud is always encouraging and enriching.
Hearing it preached is one of the means of grace for all of us. It wasn’t until recently that I thought much about that. GOD uses the preaching of His Word as a means of grace for you and me...both the good news and the bad news…to grow us and support us as we are working in the Kingdom. This may affect your choice of a church.
It’s not the music that is the important part, but the preaching of the Word. I know it is difficult when the music is abysmal, but the music is not the reason we make our choice of our church. I will now get off my soapbox.
Community is a huge part of support. Not only the community of small groups, but the community of worship together each Sunday and the community of ministry together…all provide support in ways I don’t fully understand.
Having community is another part of our support. I have a small group of women that meet together who pray for each other and encourage each other in the context of a Bible study. We are all from the same church so we see each other in the summer when we don’t regularly meet. We have gotten to know each other well and are finding it easier to give each other support as we need it.
Ron and I have another small group we are part of as a couple. We meet weekly and they grow and stretch us in different ways.
Learning to accept support is another gift we need to learn. I find I can give loving comments to others easily, but don’t always receive them well from others. I deflect them. It’s not a kind thing to do. They have given their kindness as a gift, if it is words or the offer of help, I need to accept them well and graciously with thanks. If the help is truly not needed right now, I can say it honestly, but if I am being a stoic, I can thankfully accept the help. It is a gift.I can give loving comments to others easily, but I don't always receive them well. I deflect them. Click To Tweet
I know I have gone on a little too long, but support has many parts to it. It is often there and being offered and I don’t accept it or make use of it. Sometimes, it is available to be a part of, I just don’t think I have the time for involvement in Church or a small group, but it often pays dividends when times are hard.
Blessings to you as you learn to stretch in both the giving and receiving of support from the Body of Christ.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Amen! and Amen! Great job, Martha.
Having the good sense to ask for and ACCEPT help — is key to keep on serving. My pride that “I got this” is foolish and dangerous for me and for any I hope to encourage towards the Cross.
i agree barbara, but it is a trap i have fallen into more than once. when i get better, i look around me and realizes that without Jesus and the help of those around me, I’m in a messs for sure! but that doesn’t stop me from going back to old habit patterns. i see that
Great post, Martha! Yes, when we pour out to others we need to be replenished. Maybe it’s the extrovert in me, but I am replenished when I can share deeply with a friend. To know that I can be heard and I can also give back by listening is rejuvenating.
And yes, worshiping in spirit and truth is powerful.
i’m wondering if some of that relates to our spiritual gifts jeanne. i know that when i am ministering to others, i am also encouraged just by doing it and i am ministered to by them. i always learn from those i minister to. it is rarely a one way street for sure!
blessings and thanks for stopping by jeanne:)
It is so easy to take for granted the blessings of worship, God’s word, a strong church, small groups, Bible studies, etc….when they are the very things that support and sustain us. We truly are blessed to live in this country where these things are so second nature – and pray for believers around the world longing for just these type of things!
you are so right jennifer. we take a lot for granted don’t we? it’s interesting that the church is so much stronger overall in the parts of the world where it isn’t as easy to worship as it is here. so sad. we have so many benefits that we don’t take advantage of. seems to take a tragedy to move many of us to the point of realizing just how important these resources are…and how privileged we are.
i hear so many people say they are too busy to take advantage of the many resources we have available for them to grow in their faith. so interesting that they have time for everything they truly want to do…and so sad. then when difficulty hits and they need help, they flounder for awhile until they find the time to take advantage of the resources that were there all along.
A community of support… absolutely necessary…like the supports holding up a building. Absolutely necessary. Thank you, Martha! Bless you as you go on supporting to be filled up to pour out. Lisa #71 on the fmf linkup this week.
i’m glad you stopped by lisa:) so true!
It may not seem like a lot, but I’m sure that those women appreciate just knowing that you are available when they need you. Stopping by from FMF. Keep up the good work!
yes, i think they appreciate it. from my perspective, it doesn’t seem like much, but it seems like a lot to them. i have learned a lot from each of them. they are great women!
I also find it easier to offer support to others than to receive support, but we need both and being in community is so important. When we have support ourselves we have more to offer to others.
so true lesley:) learning to receive the support offered is difficult isn’t it. it takes GOD’s grace for us to learn it too.
Hey friend! I’m behind you this week at FMF. For some reason, we are often the ones people go to when they need support. Sometimes it encourages other times it drains us. For years, we’ve felt we’ve had no where to recharge. We are so very thankful for our new church! We have been so blessed in the midst of the struggles.I can’t even tell you the ways.
it’s true isn’t it christy:) there is nothing like a great church where GOD’s Word is preached, to give us the support we need. it isn’t only that, but we can’t get along without it. That and the community of imperfect believers that make up the Body of Christ in our local church.