Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25
I find this an intriguing verse, particularly for those of us whose illnesses have left us homebound. How in the world do we “meet together” with other believers? Getting to church is rarely an option for me. I miss the fellowship of other believers. At one point in this interesting journey I call life, I was put on complete bed rest due to extreme hyperthyroidism that ultimately caused a stroke. That period lasted six months. It didn’t take long for me to feel hopeless, helpless, and useless. I tried playing online games. That kept me busy for a while. I started writing. But I could only write so much before my head would ache from thinking. This may have been the lowest part of my life.
Out of sheer desperation, I typed “God, I need help,” into Google. To say I felt foolish is an understatement. Yet, I went ahead and clicked. Much to my amazement, the url to a chatroom came up. (The next time I tried it - I got completely different results!)
Now, you also need to understand that I’ve been leary of internet chatrooms. (My own kids even ‘warned’ me about going into a chat room!) But I went ahead and signed up for the room – and, not knowing what to expect – entered a new world.
It was a Christian chatroom. It was for folks with chronic illnesses. It soon became home. Now, I could fellowship with other believers. I had found a place to encourage others and to be encouraged. I found much needed friends.
Encouragement is so important. God provided a means for me to both give ... and get that needed sense of belonging. The knowledge that I finally found people who understood was humbling.
I began leading chats, then book studies, and ultimately started this blog. I learned that I am, above all else, an encourager. I’ve also learned I need encouragement. What fascinates me is the ways God finds to provide that encouragement: A small chatroom hidden away on the internet. Feedback from book studies. People who reach out to me not realizing how much they give back to me.
I know full well that it is difficult to be an encourager when you are running on empty. Some days you are the one who needs the encouragement. Some days you are the encourager.
Today, I encourage you to reach out to someone. Say a kind word. Smile. Drop someone a note. Find a chatroom of believers. Begin to share yourself.
You will be amazed at the way God gives a double portion of that blessing back to you.
Don’t give up meeting together.
Don’t give up encouraging one another.
Don’t give up.
Father God, I pray that you will meet the needs of each reader today. Help them find ways to be encouraged and to be an encourager. Help us to hold on to each other as we hold on to You. Amen and amen.
For my email friends - have you visited the Encouraging Words website? You can find devotionals listed by topics, visit the archives, and leave your thoughts how you have encouraged others, how others have encouraged you or about your online experience with support groups (or anything else you'd care to share!). I love to hear from readers! Just click on the link. :)