Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up! Days can get pretty tough as the years slip by. Yet – there is encouragement for the taking – all around you. Little things here and there. Have you found God’s little thing that encourages today?
I remember realizing years ago – it takes growing in alertness to notice God’s little thing that encourages. I’d like to share just a couple of examples from my life.
Little Thing One
I had my aromatic cup of coffee, Bible and journal. By the soft light of several candles, I enjoyed a regular appointment with a dear Friend. What a privilege to meet God in the early morning hours – alone! To drink in the delight of His Person – and let that Person change my person. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46:10) I lingered in the warm love of Christ’s presence. That morning, the soft candlelight (along with my coffee) was a little thing that encourages.
Little Thing Two
That same day, I had a visit from another friend – no appointment. A beautiful mourning dove nestled onto my windowsill on the other side of the screen barely 2 feet from my face. (this real-time picture – less clear through screen and glass) At first, I didn’t notice him as I worked busily. Suddenly my eye caught his presence, and I froze realizing the unusual phenomenon. Normally birds flutter away with any movement. This little fellow looked all around – and directly at me. He was quiet and at peace with no intention of leaving.
This mourning dove was a reminder God is with me and has no intention of leaving even when I’m unaware of His presence. This dove – this little thing that encourages – filled my heart with cheerful hope.
Little Thing That Encourages – Thing One and Thing Two
These small blessings were gifts of warm love and cheerful hope from God. Each appointment – one regularly scheduled, the other a serendipitous surprise – had a message:
God loves you so much! You are precious to Him.
He created you with purpose and design.
God wants to do something “new” in your life each day.
Something “new” is God’s specialty. He fills your day with little new things. His love is new every morning. (Lam. 3:23) Still, “newness” seems to wear off over time. That’s OK – because just like the little mourning dove, God has no intention of leaving. He intends to re“new” you every day.
Your part? Look to Him with eager expectation. The critical question isn’t about God. It’s this: are you attentive enough to notice His little thing that encourages you each day?
Eager expectation is one of my favorite terms. It describes what our position should be as we interact with God. Interestingly, the term became meaningful to me years ago during a string of disappointments and losses. I was in a place I had to engage strong faith and obedience. From that immerged a “new” life perspective – eager expectation. I realized – I had to choose eager expectation. It was a leap – a bit scary. But as I launched my life deeper into the Lord, I found the warm love of God and His cheerful hope – in the midst of the worst circumstances.
Living in discouragement sucks the energy out of your soul. Yet throwing yourself by faith into Jesus in discouraging details, energizes and re”new”s you. Truly, this is amazing. With new energy and perspective, you can interact and manage your life situations under His guidance. It’s an intensive, critical training program.
Our incredible God, the One who forgives and redeems, invites you to be His child and personal friend. He promises to mentor and teach you – a personal trainer. His invitation stands 24/7. Why not accept the offer to be in His training program? You can become skilled at managing perspective, attitudes, preferences, communications, and more. His training builds awareness of each little thing that encourages as you address life’s complicated troubles.
Practice of the nitty-gritty maneuvers of God’s training changes you. It’s a kind of morphing – a transformation. Little shifts grab hold of your heart. Don’t get me wrong – the training IS HARD! I’ve never been in the military, but I’m confident God’s training courses are harder than boot camp. Still, God’s training stimulates growth into the next level of maturity and strength. Stick it out. You won’t regret it.
Personal Testimony of A Little Thing That Encourages
As I’ve already indicated, God’s training transformed my life. In fact, He continues to invite me to enroll in a variety of training courses each season of my life. These programs are fabulous, tough training: rich, invigorating, re”new”ing, and establishing. Every training course brings deeper peace and richer character. I love that!
Through God’s training, I’ve become increasingly aware of each little thing that encourages. They are all around every single day! I’m reaching with all my might to be more like my Trainer, Jesus. He is fresh, wise, and strong.
I’ve found God refines and enriches through discipline, His strong love, and practical application of Scripture. And He builds awareness of His little thing that encourages in every circumstance of every day.
What About Your Testimony?
God has had a special design for your life since before the creation of the world! He deeply values and esteems you. His training programs enable you to engage and empower an Alive and Active Life.
You can be:
- Faith-driven and faithful.
- Joyful and able to enjoy life and others.
- Responsible, hard-working, and dependable.
- Conscientious about how you invest time, resources, and energy.
- Ready to root out evil with goodness.
- Steady-on in discouraging times.
- A distance marathoner for the decades of living.
- At peace inside while storms rage outside.
- Resilient and tenacious – yet deeply loving and gentle.
- The person in a group that enjoys the moment – and invites others to join in.
- Encouraging others because that’s what Jesus does.
- An attentive, fully alive and active person that notices each little thing that encourages.
Follow Your Trainer
Jesus is the “Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith.” Heb. 12:2 also says – fix your eyes on Jesus. Why? Because He’s already been there and done it! Jesus prepares your path with impeccable attention to detail.
- He runs before you to provide an example, to set the pace, and to mark the trail.
- He simultaneously circles around to run beside you with strong encouragement, speaking truth into your weary soul-in-training.
- At the same time, He walks behind you as your rear guard. (Check out Is. 58:8)
Summed up – Jesus blazes the trail. He is your Companion in training. And He’s the Guy pulling up the rear to provide instant fire-power in an ambush.
Jesus would never ask you to do things you cannot. He knows “You Can Do This.” His training transforms you and helps you see the little thing that encourages. By faith, you can say, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)
Daily Little Thing That Encourages
Daily, God gives you rich moments to bless you. A mourning dove, warm candlelight, lovely cup of coffee. Maybe a double rainbow, a sunset, a gorgeous flower bloom, an aroma of herbs. Perhaps an uplifting lunch with someone, a timely Scripture verse, a check in the mail, an invigorating jog, a kind embrace when things go badly. Whatever creative little thing, Jesus is saying to you, “I am right here, dear one. I have no intention of leaving you. I love you with an everlasting love.”
Listen to the promise of these verses that contain not a little thing that encourages. They contain BIG POWER!
- Rom. 8:31 – “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Fabulous question to ask yourself!
- Is. 43:4 – “Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.” Too incredible? – But it’s for you!
- Deut. 31:8 – “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Excellent promise and instruction!
- Jer. 31:3 – “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’” It just doesn’t get any better!
- Is. 43:1 – “But now, this is what the Lord says— He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.’ ” Friend, you belong! This changes everything!
Application For A Little Thing That Encourages
- Are you practicing attentiveness to every little thing that encourages your heart?
- Have you accepted God’s invitation to His incredible training programs? It’s “open enrollment” for all His training sessions. Just ask Him, and you’re in.
- What might be keeping you from enrolling?
- Do you approach Jesus with eager expectation? Why or why not?
- What will you do today to notice every little thing that encourages you . . . and pass it on?