1 Thessalonians 5:13-15 – Overwhelm them with appreciation and love! Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out. (MSG)
Proverbs 25:11 – The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver. (CEV)
The other day, my daughter missed the bus again! Our family is attempting to save money, so we have been using only one car. Unfortunately, my husband had the car at work. Luckily, he had brought our tandem bike up from the other garage, and it was not raining or snowing. The light bulb went on. Taking the bike had to be faster than walking with a feisty kindergartener.
As I wheeled the bike out of the garage, I noticed one tire was semi-flat. A gas station would be on our way to school, so I figured we could stop for air on the way. I loaded her up, and we started off. Pedalling was really difficult, so I switched gears, which was not much help. I was really struggling to get that bike moving. I finally pulled up to the gas station after quoting, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13 NKJV) numerous times on the way. It turned out that both tires were quite flat. No wonder it had been a major struggle!
Once the tires were filled up with air, we quickly finished our journey to school. As I rode home alone on a tandem bike, I had a few thoughts. One was how much easier the ride got once I filled the tires with air. This made me think about how much easier life is when I am encouraged by others or by something I have read. How many times have I missed the opportunity to fill up someone else's tires? A few words, a listening ear, or even a smile could be enough to make their life's ride a little easier.
The back seat of the tandem was empty on my way home. I'm sure I made quite the scene for anyone driving past. I could let many things fill that back seat — negativity, worries, anxiety — or I could choose to let God always be my co-rider. He can fill me up with good thoughts, self-control, and encouragement. Who will be your co-rider today?
Prayer: Father God, You have brought many others into our lives to encourage us, to fill our road-weary tires with air when we needed it most. Help us to be there for others in the same way. May we always point others in Your direction to fill the empty seat that does not need to stay empty when we are filled with You. Amen.