My Christmas was wonderful. I got to spend it with all of my families. It was worth the 5 days in the car to get to have a day with my siblings, parents and grandparents.
Upon my return I was given something so special, so humbling, and so incredible that I had to share it. I’m a giver by nature, and I love to give gifts. So when I receive gifts I’m always thankful, but this particular gift had me in tears for a good half hour. I had to go to my office to compose myself before I could even say a proper thank you.
What was this gift? Some of my friends got together and prayed for me for an entire month. Every single day. And they didn’t just pray general prayers, but specifically for every area of my life. They compiled these prayers into a beautiful book. Each day has the prayer they prayed along with corresponding scriptures.
I have never in all my life been so humbled. There are wonderful people who pray for me often, my mother, grandmother and the beautiful ladies on our prayer team. But to know that my friends devoted a month of their time to lift me up was beyond beautiful. I don’t know that I could ever repay them for their wonderful gift. It makes me hope to be everything they were praying for.
John 15:13 says No one can have greater love than to give his life for his friends.
My dear friends gave me one month of their life, and nothing could have shown me that they love me more.
P.S.- If you are ever looking for a gift for your pastors wife, I highly recommend this. There are many challenges that pastors and their wives face that many never even know about. What an encouragement to have a tangible reminder in those times that they are not alone!!
Romans 15:1-2 1WE WHO are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves. 2Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].
My husband was teaching last week about the gifts of the spirit when he began to talk about the fruit of the spirit in our lives. He was talking about how the operation of the gifts of the spirit has nothing to do with us and everything to do with God, but the fruit of the spirit is the development in our character. He said each one of us is at a different place in our spiritual development and we can’t look at others and measure where they are at, because they might not have developed like we did in certain areas. Then I read this the other night and it made me stop and check myself. Am I going out of my way to edify others? Am I supporting those who might not be as strong as me? When I encounter others who might not be at the same place as I am spiritually, do I encourage them or am I quick to judge them because of where they are at? Instead of being frustrated with the way other people act, I should figure out how I can build them up.
The first way to edify someone is in prayer. I cannot tell you how many times I have been bothered by either someone’s attitude or actions, but I prayed specifically for them and saw them adjust. I remember a time when I hadn’t prayed for someone, but I mentioned to my husband what a drastic turnaround I had seen in them and he told me he had been praying for them that very day. James 5:16 says …….pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
Another way to lift someone up is to do what it says in Galatians 6:2-3 2Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it]. 3For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another’s load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself. Some definitions of carry are to take somebody to another place, to move them along, to support a weaker element, or make somebody succeed or endure. Another is to communicate or convey information, an idea or feeling. When we encounter those that are struggling we should do whatever we can to be an encouragement, to speak words of life, and to find ways to help them grow.