Encouragement from friends and family meant a lot to me during my three-month wheelchair stint earlier this year.
On several occasions, a girlfriend who owns a catering business phoned mid-afternoon and said, “I cooked a big batch of butter chicken and want to share it with you for supper.” She included rice, salad, dessert, and even juice boxes in the meal. Others brought casseroles or soup and buns—and everyone did so without my asking.
Flowers and cards arrived. A neighbor lent us a collapsible ramp so I could leave the house in my wheelchair. When my leg cast was removed, a couple from my church lent me a walker. Someone else gave me a cane. Countless people prayed for me, and many told me so.
Encouragement gave me hope. Like a life preserver, it kept me afloat especially on days when waves of exhaustion swept over me.
King David experienced the blessing of encouragement on such a day. He was on the run from his son, Absalom, who’d taken action to overthrow him. David was emotionally and physically spent. He “walked up the road to the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went. His head was covered and his feet were bare as a sign of mourning” (2 Samuel 15:30 NLT). And that’s when the Lord used a friend to bring encouragement.
As David passed the Mount of Olive’s summit, he encountered Ziba. Of his own accord, this man brought two donkeys loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 bunches of summer fruit, and a full wineskin to feed and refresh David and his people. Imagine how David must have felt at that moment!
Encouragement can come in big or small packages. Ziba’s was big. A single homecooked meal, a greeting card, or a phone call might seem minute in comparison, but the impact on the recipient is still huge.
Who do you know who could use a bit of unexpected encouragement today? What one thing can you do to provide it?