ask for help. I simply refused to mop my floors again (for a while anyway). We lived on Hamburger Helper, Macaroni & Cheese, Top Ramen, and anything else I could instantly heat up without much trouble. Can you believe I obtained a cooking job at the local restaurant? I think the Lord thought it time I learned this particular skill, and I suspect my husband agreed.
A few years later, I had two friends from church step into my life and teach me to not only cook, but to can! I became a canning freak for a few years (totally over it now). Whenever I discover something NEW I am capable of doing, I kind of go overboard. Looking back, I am reminded of countless women God placed into my life as encouragers and teachers. These women saw things in me I could not see in myself. They spurred me on and supported me, bringing out gifts and abilities that otherwise may have remained dormant indefinitely. Because of these women, I gained confidence to teach others, move to a foreign country, home school my kids, mentor parents seeking to regain custody of their children, pursue a college degree, start a blog, and so much more. Where would I be without these women?! A little goes a long way!
Unfortunately, there have also been individuals in my life who have discouraged me, dampening my drive, and dissuading me in numerous areas. It’s amazing what power one individual has. It is astounding that one conversation, one sentence, one word, or simply one look can dishearten the soul. Why is it that numerous people can compliment you, encourage you, stir you up, and lift your spirit, and then one person comes along with that condescending comment and all previous encouragement immediately dissipates? What is it about discouragement that has so much power? A little goes a long way!
In Numbers chapter 13, Moses sends twelve spies to search out the land of Canaan; the land promised by God. Moses persuades them to “be of good courage” (vs 20). However, upon returning, ten of the twelve give the Israelites a bad report (vs 32), discouraging with tales of strong, fortified cities, and inhabitants as large as giants. And then there’s good ole Caleb and Joshua. Oh how I adore these two. The lone spies who took God for His word and spoke truth and encouragement to His chosen children, proclaiming “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” (vs 30) and “If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us” (14:8). The verses immediately following reveal all too well the power of discouragement as the people spoke of stoning Joshua and Caleb, until the Lord Himself intervened.
Are you an encourager? Are you a discourager? Do you have brothers and sisters in your life that have supported you, cheered you on, or truly sought to advance and promote you in God’s kingdom? Or are you constantly burdened by disheartening individuals and discouraging words? A little goes a long way! A little encouragement will guide a friend straight into their destined promised land. A little discouragement will stop one in their tracks, causing even the strongest of soldiers to fall as a corpse in the wilderness. Be an encourager! A little goes a long way!
But exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.