Have you received or sent a greeting card to someone recently? Last week’s story shared the difference a greeting card can make, that cards are one of the most welcomed forms of communication that create a doorway into someone’s heart. Paul, Silas, and Timothy understood the importance of writing letters and staying in touch. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica, ”Encourage one another and build each other up.”
It is understandable that not everyone loves the thrill of buying, sending, and receiving greeting cards. However, writing and sharing words of life with people is a gift God has given to many of His children. If this is not your gift, surely you are blessed with other gifts that help people and glorify God. The important thing is that each of us uses the gifts God has blessed us with and not be passive with the great potential to share His love with others. Now, you can enjoy this story without feeling overwhelmed to fill your mailbox with outgoing mail. While reading how God can use the written word to encourage and bless others, you just might feel an urge, conviction, nudge from the Holy Spirit to share your own words and watch what amazing things happen when we follow where He leads and do what He says.
When Tim passed away, there were three hat boxes filled to the brim with cards and letters that kept me company when family and friends didn’t come around as often as they did during his sickness and passing. Many of you have endured similar seasons of sorrow when it seemed the sun would never shine again. Getting through those tough times takes time! Going through the seven stages (per directions in many books and from lots of friends) does not bring relief to all those dealing with grief. Being closely connected to God and giving the load to Him is the first step to healing. God knows what we need and sends it in His time and His way. There are those who try to help but cannot understand unless they have walked the road of whatever situation the person grieving has encountered. I believe God works it all out by sending encouragers and prayer partners for every person dealing with sorrow, sadness, or situations that can stop their flow of joy. Devoted servants of the Lord who look for opportunities to uplift and bring joy to those in need will have special crowns waiting in heaven.
Are you thinking of and thanking God for precious people who prayed with you, shared cards, visits, and encouragement through a tough time in your life? As I write, many beautiful faces of friends and family members who encouraged, extended helping hands, and prayed over us through many tough times pop up in my mind. A pop up on my computer just stopped my flow of words. My hands rest on the keys as I flashback to times when walking to the mailbox brought tears. Letters would come addressed to Tim Spell and crying sent me to a pit of pity that consumes those left behind. God knows our weakness and works to strengthen us in ways we might not realize until tough times have passed. God touched three special ladies who kept my mailbox filled with encouraging cards, not once, not twice, but more times than I can count. One friend sent cards two and three times a week when the darkest days of sickness and sorrow loomed. She carried me from tears to triumph with her words of life that were waiting for me in the mailbox on days when God knew exactly what I needed. Another of these three came to my house, with two close teacher friends, when she knew I needed more than a card. She encouraged me to seek a second opinion for cancer care and the three of them prayed over me. I needed that intensive visit from friends who were willing to come and show they cared.
These faithful friends put action to their words; they were doers who helped me see clearly when I did not know what to do. Remembering that day with a grateful heart, I thank God for those loyal friends. Sharing the names of these Christian friends who pen precious gems and glorify Him is not what they would want me to do. Many of you reading this story have probably received letters and cards from them too. God knows who they are and crowns will be waiting for each of them when they get to heaven one day. I think of them tonight as the snow glistens outside the window where I write. I pray for them and thank God for their faithful friendship and willingness to write cards of encouragement and send them to people who need to know that someone cares.
“Lord, let me be the kind of friend to people you put in my path that my dear friends have been and continue to be for me. I know your timing is perfect – forgive me when I get ahead or lag behind what you nudge my heart to do. My passion is to encourage people to cherish close relationships with loved ones and with You. Thank you for healing, happiness and love so pure and true.. I look forward to each day here and my tomorrows there with loved ones and with You.”
Are you connected to Christ with a passion to share His love and use your gifts to help others? Take time to hear His stirrings in your heart. Have faith and sow seeds, reach out to a family member or friend in need. Send a card.