Caught off guard? Absolutely. Left speechless? Completely.
A group of women I regularly gather with to pray, surprised me with making one of our gatherings incredibly special – For ME. I was in on the idea of making one of our weeks a bit more special by each bringing a dish to pass and meeting at one of our ladies’ lovely home. However, I was not informed of the actual purpose of this meeting – to celebrate the recent launch of my first published book, Still She Speaks. Talk about blown away.
These precious women ministered to me in such a profound way, and I am fairly sure they didn’t even know it.
Last to arrive, I hastily assembled the veggie pizza I had brought to contribute. Feeling bedraggled, I was slow to notice a couple of copies of my book on the counter, like a centerpiece arranged amongst the delicious foods. Then, gathered in a circle, their words of love poured over me, as each one shared something they thought of when they thought of me. Then they prayed a beautiful prayer over me, that ministered to my very soul.
For those of you who have read this blog for a while and know me at all, you won’t be surprised to hear that the whole experience did me in. Tears flowed, and only by exercising great control was I able to keep it to a trickle rather than a torrent.
I just sat under the flood of their words of praise and felt so completely undone. Because anything that I am, is only because of the work of Jesus Christ in my life. He gets ALL of the praise. He gets ALL of the glory. Without Him, I am nothing. With Him, He gives me the unbelievable privilege of sharing in the joy that comes from living a life rooted in Him.
Ephesians tells us, “But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved…and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (2:4,5,8-10)
Oh my dear sister, isn’t that incredible? I marvel that God chooses to not only lavish on us all grace and wisdom and strength, when we are all so undeserving; but then He also allows us to share in the blessing of ministry, using the very gifts He gave us?! It’s simply Amazing! And I tell you – It’s ALL Him!
So those dear ladies, sharing such priceless words of affirmation with me, were only identifying what they see in me because of Christ at work in me. And it was powerful.
It reminds me that I need to be more purposeful in telling those around me what a blessing they are to me.
What an awesome gift to give someone – the gift of letting people know that we can see Christ at work in their lives, and are blessed by them.
How might your encouragement spur on the hearer in your midst? Could it cause them to feel revived and ready to press on? Re-invigorated to love with Christ’s love? Strengthened to continue on in a difficult relationship or a hard trial? We may never know until Eternity the power of our words; but we can be sure that God wants us to use them well.
The writer of Hebrews says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
In that kitchen, basking in the glow of friendship and celebration over God’s goodness and lavish love, my friends took the opportunity to ‘spur me on’.
What about you? Do you have a time when you were encouraged that God was using you to bless others? Is there someone in your life you feel prompted to share with, to let them know that you have been ministered to through them? Why not do it Today, and see the truth of Proverbs 25:11 at work…
Let’s talk…you know – between friends.