The current public health directives have affected us differently. Some of us have continued to report to our work place every day so with the possible exception of reduced traffic during commute and limited shopping options, our lives have remained the same. Some of us are blessed to work from home and still have an income. Others have suffered economic hardships because the closure of small businesses has led to massive termination of employment. We read of the emotional drain on many because of being required to stay at home. For introverts such as myself (who recharge in isolation) this is a non-issue. However, I know our church also has extroverts who need to be around people in order to recharge their batteries. I am sure being required to limit personal contact is draining for such of our church family.
Whatever challenges we face, even in times that seem more normal, are sometimes amplified by reading in the Scriptures that make our challenge seem exceptionally difficult. The text we find in our Bibles may make us feel selfish because of our perceived need which then exasperates our challenge with guilt. The challenge may seem larger than life when we see what we are called to do and we think, "I just don't have the energy to do that".
During these times that have many of us in isolation or reduced contact with others, our eyes may fall on the words of Hebrews 3:13 [But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today", that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.] and we think, "how can I do this in my current situation?" The possibilities are limited only by our imagination. Rather than dedicate this blog entry to a long list of bullet points on ways to encourage one another, let me share a few of the ways I have been encouraged. I got a card from a church member in the mail that simply said included the words "I appreciate what you do", reading those words gave my emotional batteries a big charge. Yesterday, someone came by the church where I was preparing to record the weekly message and brought Pam and I some banana bread (which we enjoyed this morning with coffee). We have had other church family encourage us with cookies that said, "when I made these, I thought of you". There have been phone calls to see how we are doing and there has been shared laughter in Zoom meetings. These are simple gestures that have a tremendous impact on our emotional and spiritual well being.
"Encourage one another every day, as long as it is called 'today'". It is not a complicated process, but it makes a lot of difference in the lives of others. Therefore, lets us strive to practice this as much as we can.
Have a blessed Friday and please know I appreciate each and every one of you.