Recently I was given encouraging words from several different people abounding more and more in love on the very weekend I struggled with fresh grief. Most of the encounters were not “planned”, but I have no doubt they were prearranged by my loving Heavenly Father.
The first encouragement came from a friend and mentor who shot a random friendly text to me. She knows the mutual blessing in choosing a few uplifting words.
The second “abounder” was an acquaintance I happened to see who went straight from a casual greeting to an unexpected and genuine compliment on something I had done and how it had blessed her. The words were as a surprise shower of light beams diffusing healing balm onto my bruised heart. Then there were a couple elderly sisters in Christ from my church who just did what most elderly “sisters” in the church have learned more and more to do so well; i.e., one chatted with much humble empathy, specific encouragement, and a hug, and one lavished praise about me to my husband, just as she often does to me about him. The final dose of medicine God administered to me was from laughter and good times with family during a planned birthday celebration for Tony. Every one of our children connected with us one way or another (and that alone is a blessing) but being able to spend time together eating, talking, supporting and laughing certainly adds to the blessing.
Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
children, a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons born in one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them. (Ps. 127:3-5)
I want to abound in love more and more so that I am bothered less and less by those who are unable and/or unwilling to love as the Lord does, and be able to abound in forgiveness, grace and love toward the unloving. After all, we’ve all been there in that horribly blind spot in which our own vision sees ourselves less needy then we really are and God less magnificent then He really is. Paul and his co-writers said this in 1 Thess. 4:9, “About brotherly love: you are taught by God to love one another.” God will always raise up some who will seek to abound in love more and more because they are as one taught to love by God, Himself. That kind of love is portrayed on the cross and it doesn’t play favorites because it is God’s love in us, not something we contrive! Of the three gifts that remain, love is the greatest.
So what is my response to being overwhelmed with encouragement, even as I occasionally struggle with grievous things? Though I try to show kindness and encouragement, anyway, it is to do so even more! 1 Thes. 4:10b, “But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more.”
In this season of your life and in this very moment you are abounding in something…even more. Is it what you’d like to abound in? If so, how can you practice it “more and more“?