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.