Executive Director's Blog
Strengthen Their Hand in God
At that, a woman spoke up and said, "I don't even know what my gifts are!" So, prompted by the Holy Spirit, I took a risk and asked the rest of the group, "If you had to identify her gifts, what would you say? How have you experienced God through her? Where in her life do you see the fingerprints of God?"
To my delight (and frankly, to my relief) hands went up immediately. "She comforted me during a very difficult time in my life," said one. Another described the meaningful notes of encouragement this person had sent to her. One affirmed her as a "nurturer," and another testified how this woman stood with her through the journey of serious illness. As they shared, many nodded their heads in agreement, and others had a hard time resisting the urge to just blurt out how God has blessed them through her life.
It was very moving to watch. The woman was overwhelmed by the spontaneous outpouring of love and gratitude. And the people were equally blessed to help her discover that God had indeed been making an impact as she exercised her gift of mercy in simple acts of Spirit-prompted obedience.
It was a beautiful picture of what it means to "encourage one another and build each other up" (I Thessalonians 5:11). It also reminded me of what it must have meant in I Samuel 23:16 when "Jonathan strengthened David's hand in God." Jonathan "rose and went to David," reminded him of God's promise and protection, and then made the commitment to stand with him for the long haul.
I closed that session, exhorting them to minister to one another in that same manner. I really believe this woman, who came not knowing what her gifts were, left that room with her hand literally strengthened in God.
In these days when words of discouragement and criticism seem to come easily, perhaps there is someone whom God is nudging you to "strengthen their hand in God." The Spirit-prompted gift of your presence, a simple note reminding them of God's omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, or perhaps even a "thick and thin, I am with you," affirmation of friendship will be a gift that "is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion." It will indeed be "a blessing and give grace to those who hear it" Ephesians 4:29 [AMP].
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