I have been trying to get back into running lately, so while in Georgia I got up in the morning and ran several days. One of the little routes I ran I nicknamed ‘heartbreak hill’ in honor of the horrendous incline that awaited me about 2/3 the way through the run. One morning I started my run a little later than I would have liked and the Georgia heat was already roasting me pretty good. Right before I begin the approach to ‘heartbreak hill’ I run through a neighborhood. As I was making my way through the neighborhood I started thinking about…uh I mean dreading the the thought of running that hill in the heat. As these depressing thoughts began circling around in my brain, I passed by this lady who was out walking and she exclaims to me, ‘God bless you for running!’. I kind of laughed at her random outburst and then found myself re-energized for the challenge that lay ahead of me.
You know we have opportunities every day to be that blessing of encouragement to those around us. In Hebrews 10 it says to ‘ 24 think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.’ Sometimes taking a moment to call or text or email or facebook message someone with an encouraging word can send their day in a whole new and better direction. Sometimes just taking an extra moment to notice and greet someone at church or in your neighborhood or at Wal-Mart can make a huge difference. Another way we can encourage each other is through remembering them in prayer. Paul often wrote about how he was delivered, kept safe, given boldness, protected, etc through the prayers of other believers. In 2 Corinthians he pleaded for the Christians in Corinth where he said, “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us in answer to many prayers” (2 Corinthians 1:11). A lady was sharing how she is going through a very difficult season but periodically in the midst of her long days she will feel bursts of encouragement just flood over her and she believes those come to her from the many people who take the time to pray for her.
So who knows, your words or prayers today may give someone just the encouragment they need to face their own difficult hills that lay ahead of them on the road they travel.