Encouragement 09-01-04


September 1, 2004
Encouragement for Today

A Sip of Friendship
Susanne Scheppmann, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

Key verse:

Perfume and incense make the heart glad, but the sweetness of a friend is a fragrant forest. Proverbs 27:9 (God's Word)


Watching the orange-yellow sunrise, I sipped slowly on a steaming cup of spiced cinnamon tea.  I lounged back knowing a full day of activity also rose before me. I asked myself, "Where and how in the world do I even begin today's tasks?"  I felt the familiar sensation of being overwhelmed flood my tired body and weary soul. 

The phone's ring jarred me back to attention.  Grabbing the phone I heard, "Hi, it's Lisa.  Remember when we ran into each other again in Georgia?" 

I had been racing to another appointment at a convention when we bumped into each other.  We did not know each other well, but we both recalled our immediate connection at a different conference the year before.  We traded phone numbers and promised to call each other.

Now as I listened to her excitement about what Christ was doing in her life, I smiled to myself.  I continued to sip my tea and celebrate with her as she told one story after another of God's hand in her day-to-day life.

Yes, she was busy, too.  Her full life consisted of a husband out-of-work, two small children, and her own career.  Plus, her mother was recently diagnosed with a devastating illness.  Yet, she bubbled with enthusiasm for God's continual provision and unexpected blessings.

We talked for a long time.  We discussed life, books, and tea.  She is a tea aficionado, too.  Finally, as I hung-up the phone I drained the last spot of tea from the pot.  The sun shone high and bright in the sky. "Wow!  The morning is almost gone," I thought.  But I no longer felt panicky, I felt renewed. The day's tasks didn't seem as daunting.

I continued to grin as I realized the tremendous refreshment and joy that phone call delivered to my anxious soul. Little did my friend realize how she encouraged me by telling me the details of "God moments" in her busy life.  I started my own day, not with a dread of all I needed to accomplish, but with an anticipation of watching for the God orchestrated moments.  Suddenly, I giggled.  I realized I had just experienced one.  Lisa's phone call refreshed me!  God supplied and refreshed me with a pot of tea and a sip of sweet friendship.

My prayer for today:

Father God, help me to remember in the busyness of life the value of friendships. To remember you gave us the gift of friendship to encourage one another.  And Father, help me to be the type of friend who takes the time to uplift my precious friends.

Application steps:

Make a list of friends to call or write.  Make a commitment to stay in contact with the friends in your life on a regular basis.  Remember friendships are one of God's important gifts in our hectic lives.   

Reflection points

Do I feel "too busy" to take time for the friendships in my life?

How has God refreshed my life with friendships?

Which of my friends could use a phone call of encouragement today?

Do I watch for "God moments" in my life on a daily basis?

Power verses

If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NIV) 

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. Philemon 1:7 (NIV) 

I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. Colossians 4:8 (NIV) 

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Isaiah 40:1 (NIV) 

Additional resources

Stress Busters, by Mary Southerland

Becoming a Woman who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes

Living Life on Purpose, by Lysa Terkeurst

Originally published Wednesday, 01 September 2004.