Most of us learn how to handle the ebb and flow of life. How to endure the pain in hopes of some joy on the other side of it. Living life in service to others has many ups and downs. I have experienced many times when the hurts of others have been so great that I have wanted to help them carry the load. It sets me up for failure every time. You see it doesn't take long before you realize that life hands you enough trouble of your own and you simply cannot carry someone elses burdens too. Jesus did not want us to try to carry any of the load. He encouraged us to cast our cares upon Him because He really cares about what is happening to us. He asked us to help them others but not to take on their pain as well as ours. We are to help them hurl their heaviness in His direction.(1 Peter 5:7) Imagine helping another and helping ourselves too! So how do we minister to others without hurting ourselves?
LISTEN-we all want to know that our voice matters and that we are being heard. Listen to those around you that come to you for support. Don't speak until you listen. Remember you have 2 ears and only one mouth...God set it up that way! Listen!
PRAY-there is nothing quite as powerful as a prayer of agreement. When two persons come together in prayer and agree, things change. When we work we work, but when we pray, God works!
ENCOURAGE-I have been the recipient of many wonderful prayers that were so incredible I could feel the power. But once life starts to happen again that same overwhelming feeling comes back and I look for help. Encouragement is oxygen to the soul...it puts the wind in our sails. And when we encourage with scripture, it brings faith. And we know that faith can move mountains!
You can do anything that God asks you to do. Today, do what Timothy did and thank Him for placing you in the mix. God will give you all the strength you need. You are special to Him and to the world that you live in. So listen, pray and encourage someone today!
1 Timothy 1:12 "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus."