Proverbs 25:11 – Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket. (NLT)

I remember how the right timing and the perfect words once turned a harsh and hurtful situation to a smooth transition. I was blessed with six families within our family, and we shared everything. We were all for one and one for all — one big family — because we shared family gardens and homes. Although we lived payday to payday, my father employed much of the family at his mill.

When my aunt drove up with my cousin and her friends to go to the river for her tenth birthday party, another cousin, Katie, and I ran alongside the car and asked if we could get in. "You aren't invited," someone said. We didn't understand, because we always did everything together, and they were going to my river below my house. Katie and I were broken-hearted that we were excluded so rudely and had to stay home.

She and I sulked about in a lean-to area off the side of the house. A while later, workers came to the pay window to get their money, and they discovered us forlorn girls. Our friend, George, took notice of our sad, tear-streaked faces. He acknowledged that it was hurtful to hear so bluntly that we were not included.

George explained that as kids get older, as we were, they sometimes want to choose friends rather than family. He added that we might think about this in a new way. Instead of feeling bad, he suggested that we understand that we were growing up and would soon be choosing our own friends to join us. His fitting words and good timing filled our emotional silver baskets with tiny golden applets. Our hearts were encouraged.

Let's be ready when someone needs encouragement to have an applet of grace ready.

Prayer: Dear Lord, grant us the wisdom to choose timely advice, and prompt us when to step in to help someone overwhelmed with their circumstances. Amen.

About the author:

Karen Milam <>
Penn Valley, California, USA

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