Ephesians 6:8 – Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. (KJV)
When I came upon one of the regular neighbourhood walkers one morning, he was bent over, obviously in discomfort. Upon asking if I could do anything, he replied that no, there was nothing anyone could do, he was always in pain.
It is well known that his heart and knees bother him, but he had never displayed it openly. However, not to exercise may lead to more serious complications. We are usually the first ones "on the route" and exchange greetings every day.
Another gentleman has had a stroke, but he too, makes the route almost every day. He doesn't notice his little improvements, but I do, and tell him. He, on the other hand, knows if I am a little late, or if I've been away. We "keep tabs on each other".
Another walker gave me the "thumbs up" when I started running again. Now I'm giving them to her. That's encouragement.
Similarly, the replies I receive to my devotionals are so incredibly touching and encouraging. Someone has received something from what I've written, but they in turn, have given me something much more.
We have been given the gift of being able to give encouragement to each other. It costs so very little and accomplishes so very much. A little kid is so encouraged just by the presence of a family member or friend in the audience; an elderly person can be encouraged when they apologize for being slow, and are told it's okay. Little things. Encouraging things.
The good we receive, as well as the good we give, is all the work of the Lord, whether it comes from or is received by either those in the "bonds" of debilitating conditions, or those of us who are "free".
Prayer: We thank you Lord, for the ability to share encouragement with each other. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.