“How can you be the rainbow in somebody’s storm?” the radio announcer’s voice queried. As the question flowed through my mind, endless possibilities erupted in my thoughts. Considering the rainbow was given by God as a beautiful promise to never flood the earth again, so our acts of encouragement could possibly save someone sinking in flood waters too deep to manage.
In his book, Encourage Me, Charles R. Swindoll calls encouragement – an antidote for weariness. He emphasizes that our strength has its limits . . . and “the longer the weariness lingers, the more we face the danger of that weary condition clutching our inner man by the throat and strangling our hope, our motivation, our spark, our optimism, our encouragement.”
I asked Siri for the definition for encouragement and this is what was relayed: Encouragement – the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope – persuasion to do or to continue something – the act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state, or belief.
However, there are times when another person coming into our mess to provide the encouragement we need will not happen or be possible. In these times we are never without an Encourager. The Bible tells us David strengthened himself in the Lord his God (1 Samuel 30:6). The prophet Isaiah reminds us, our Creator God never grows weary but continually dispenses the strength and encouragement we need to keep going and not give up (40:28-31). Swindoll cautions: “But let’s understand that God does not dispense strength and encouragement like a druggist fills your prescription. The Lord doesn’t promise to give us something to take so we can handle our weary moments. He promises us Himself. That is all. And that is enough” (Encourage Me, p. 37). So, your appointments with Him are critical in finding the strength and encouragement He wants to provide.
But that certainly doesn’t negate our responsibility to others to be that rainbow in their storm. “The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary” (Isaiah 50:4a, NLT).
Just like the saying, “If you want a friend, you must be a friend.” Sometimes even in our own pain the best thing we can do is be an encourager to someone who needs encouragement. Many times, when you encourage someone else, they end up encouraging you just as much if not even more! Will you join me in making the month of March “A Rainbow” event! Let’s see how many hurting or discouraged people we can encourage through the gift of a smile, a note, a pat on the back, a visit, lunch, helping with a chore or a child. Keep a journal or a note on your phone so that you are intentional and at the end of March tally up how many individuals saw a rainbow during their storm! 😉
Remember William Barclay’s quote – “One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement.”
“Now if your experience of Christ’s encouragement and love means anything to you, if you have known something of the fellowship of his Spirit, and all that it means in kindness and deep sympathy, do make my best hopes for you come true! Live together in love, as though you had only one mind and spirit between you. Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of one another than you do of yourselves. None of you should think only of his own affairs, but each should learn to see things from other people’s point of view. Let Christ Jesus be your example as to what your attitude should be” (Philippians 2:1-5, Phillips Version).
“What other ways can we encourage one another?” the Holy Spirit’s voice queries.