Gardening can become a spiritual exercise, teaching us discernment as we eliminate the weeds from our lives, giving what we value room to grow.
- Diane Dreher
Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time! (Proverbs 15:23)
You see, it wasn’t just Mother’s Day but also Mom’s birthday, May 11. She would’ve been 86 on Mother’s Day, and I know just what she would’ve said to me: “Now, I want two presents–one for my birthday, and one for Mother’s Day. I wasn’t born a mother...” She was a sassy one, and I loved her so much.
Since my mother’s passing, my older sister Martie and I have become even closer than we already were. There are days when I just need to hear my sister’s voice–especially when I’m missing Mom so very much. On those days, I simply call Mart and say, “I’m having a hard day.”
That’s all I have to say, and Martie knows just what to do. She begins comforting me and encouraging me. She tells me what the Word of God says about Mom in heaven; she tells me how proud Mom would be of me; she tells me how much she loves me and that we’ll always keep the legacy of love alive in our family. While those words don’t change the reality that my mom is gone, they have been life to me on many occasions–including yesterday.
Maybe you’re going through a difficult situation right now. Maybe someone you deeply loved has passed away, or maybe your marriage is in trouble, or maybe your finances are in shambles, or maybe your children are away from God. Whatever you’re going through, I know that it can seem overwhelming and hopeless at times. Believe me; I’ve been there. On those days when you simply can’t find that ray of hope in the midst of all the dark clouds, reach out to your mom, a friend, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, your pastor’s wife, someone who cares about you, and confess, “Hey, I’m having a hard day.”
Ask that person to pray with you and remind you of God’s promises concerning your situation. Then offer to be that voice on the other end of the line whenever she needs your encouragement.
When you can’t find someone to lift you up, do like David did: The Bible tells us when times got tough, David encouraged himself in the Lord. Remember that story? David and his men had just returned home from a daunting battle to find their camp ravaged. Their wives and children had been captured by their enemies, and their camp had been burned. Before long, David’s men turned on him and talked of stoning him. At first, David was distraught and overwhelmed with sadness, but the Bible says he didn’t remain that way for long. Instead, he encouraged himself in the Lord. And guess what? Just 72 hours later, David and his men had regained their families and belongings, and David was named king.
So hold on! Be encouraged! Know that you’re not alone, and meditate on this: Your breakthrough may be only 72 hours away!
Pray this with me today: Lord, thank you for surrounding me with godly friends and family who can encourage me when I need it most. And, Father, help me to be an encouragement to those in my life who need an uplifting word today. Help me to speak the Word, your Word, into their lives. Amen.
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, with more than 60 books and 1,000 articles for newspapers and magazines to her name. She was won several SELAH Awards (best children’s book and book of the year for God Knows You in 2014 and best children’s book for My Big Book of Prayers in 2012), and her book Divine Stories of the Yahweh Sisterhood was named a Family Christian Bookstores Premiere Pick in 2006. When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff. They have two college-aged daughters, Abby and Allyson, as well as a small petting zoo. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys cheering on the Indiana University Men’s Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies and the LA Kings. Find out more about Michelle at her website.