1 Thessalonians 5:11 (New International Version)
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
I received some difficult news yesterday that really rubbed me the wrong way. What is was, is not so important as how I allowed it to affect me. Have you ever gotten bad news and had to muddle through your day when you really just wanted to find some private place to cry? As I carried out my duties, thoughts flooded my mind, such as “I can’t believe this is happening again. I thought I was done with this situation. Will I ever be free from this?” Even my prayers were complaints. I whined at God, snapped at my children, and was impatient with my husband. My malcontentedness spread like a virus. Pretty soon my husband grew quiet and gave me my space. After 14 years of marriage, he recognizes when his wife is “in a mood.” My children ate dinner in relative silence. I had infected my whole family with my bad mood. Understand, I did not want to act the way I was acting. I was miserable – but last night, change was beyond me. Have you ever felt like that? Just full of “piss and vinegar” as my grandmother used to say – and stuck.
Once alone, I cried out to God for the better part of the night. Unburdened, I eventually fell asleep. This morning I was still heavy, but I felt slightly better than I did yesterday. Team Mitchell geared up and marched out into the world, bathed in prayer and covered with kisses.
Alone with my bible and the Lord, I began my study. I am currently reading the Book of Daniel, I’m on the chapter when Nebuchadnezzer loses his mind and ends up wandering the hillside eating grass, like a cow – not a good look. As I read, my thoughts kept turning back to the news I received yesterday. My circumstances weren’t that bad – I would survive. I was still sore from the hit I took yesterday. I don’t know exactly why. I wish I could tell you that I am mature enough to pull myself out of the doldrums when I get sucked in, but sometimes, I just need God to come get me. I needed to be rescued from myself. I need encouragement that I could not provide.
Yesterday I had sent out my first Elev8 newsletter to friends and family. As I checked my email to see if anyone wanted to unsubscribe, one address caught my eye. It was that of a friend I hadn’t spoken to in months. I clicked on it to encounter three words that changed my whole outlook for the day.
She responded simply, “You da bomb!” I laughed out loud! If she had been with me, I would have given her the biggest hug!
Instantly I recalled so many of the times we had spent together, her smile (she has the biggest dimples), her style of dress (she is always fly), and her dignified and caring demeanor. I found myself remembering all the times she had encouraged me in the past whenever I took on some new endeavor, all the times we had giggled like school girls over the silliest things, and the times we had cried together over problems that broke our hearts. And you know what? I was encouraged! Just thinking about this friend and our shared past, made me grateful for my life. I really am so very blessed to have quality people in my life, who show their love through support and encouragement.
I replied to my friend’s email and shared with her what those three words meant to me this morning. I am so glad she took the time to respond. And I am grateful to God that he used my friend to remind me that his joy really is my strength. My situation has not changed. But my attitude toward it has. At best it is just a pothole on the road of a very promising and fulfilling life. I will be better than okay. Where my vision was a little clouded yesterday, I see clearly on this side of this morning’s email. Do you have people like that in your life? People who when you just think about them and the times you’ve spent together, bring a smile to your heart? Taking “every thought captive unto Christ” and choosing to “think on these things” is powerful.
So let me ask you this: What thoughts occupy your mind today? Whom has the Holy Spirit placed on your mind this morning, this week, this month? Who has been coming up “in your spirit” repeatedly? Perhaps you should send them an encouraging word, or just let them know that you’re thinking about them. You never know the difference a few words can make.
Be blessed Family!
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