Mackenzie slipped quietly out from her pew as the pastor prayed the benediction. She didn’t feel like talking with anyone and just wanted to go home. The service was encouraging, but the comment concerning her appearance earlier still bothered her. She felt defeated like a wilted flower on a hot summer day in need of a fresh shower. She couldn’t figure out why people felt the need to say words that stung, even when they didn’t think anyone was listening.
She gathered her two girls from their classes and headed towards the front door. Realizing she forgot to check her mail, she went back and peeked in her slot. Lifting out an envelope, she studied the handwriting, but didn’t recognize it.
“Come on Mommy,” one of her girls said. “I’m hungry.”
She smiled at her youngest as she wondered what special dish she could make up from the little food she had in the cupboard. She took her hand. “Okay sweetie, let’s go.”
After getting her girls settled in the car, she couldn’t contain her curiosity any longer and ripped open the mysterious envelope. A folded piece of paper fell out as she read the words on the “Thinking of you” card.
We were so sorry to hear of the recent fire that took your belongings. We know this past year has been tough on you and we wanted to help out in a small way. We know it’s not much, but hope it will encourage you to know others are thinking of you and love you.
We are praying for you and your two precious girls.
Valerie and Tim Forsythe
Tears filled Mackenzie’s eyes as she unfolded the piece of paper and looked at the $50 cheque before her. Showers of blessing rained down and instantly a refreshing feeling washed over her.
She placed her head on the steering wheel and cried.
“Mommy, what’s wrong?” her oldest said.
Mackenzie looked back at her girls and smiled. “Nothing. I’m just happy.”
“Because God is good, all the time.”
Aren’t you amazed when God gives you the right gift at the perfect time? I know I am. In this case, it wasn’t just a material gift, but words of encouragement so desperately needed by a single mother trying to make ends meet. This is a fictional story, but one that is probably true in so many lives around our world.
Last week I spoke about how damaging our tongues can be. Today, I want to share how it can be used for good, if we let it.
Why do we find it so hard to speak words of encouragement? I believe it’s because we’re scared of what to say. I struggle with that all the time.
Words can help heal a troubling heart and they don’t necessarily always have to be long and drawn out. Sometimes, just a simple “I’m praying for you” or a hug can carry more weight than “pat” answers. What do I mean by that? How can we tell someone we know what they’re going through, if we really don’t? Or saying “God will carry you” when they can’t seem to scrape up enough money to survive? Yes, God will provide, but in the middle of pain it’s hard to see that, so we must choose our encouraging words carefully.
If you struggle with spoken words (like I do), send a card of encouragement. It can do wonders to cheer up a friend in need. Or just calling someone and asking them how you can pray will do wonders.
While encouraging words are good, we need to use them wisely. We need to pray before we speak. We must ask God to give us His words, not ours.
If we use our tongues for good, God will not only bless the receiver, but the giver.
Go ahead…use some kind words today. You never know how much weight they can carry!
Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)
“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”