May 13 – When I Get Out – Encourage Now and Later

Read Hebrews 3:13

I grew up playing baseball and hockey.  I love those sports, and I wanted to be the best player I could be.  For hours when I wasn’t on the ice, I would retreat to our basement, where I had taped a 6’ x 4’ goal on the concrete wall.  With blue chalk, I colored in four circles, one in each corner of the “net.” I took thousands of shots at that concrete goal, trying to develop my proficiency so that I could hit any corner of the net with the puck from any place on the floor without looking.

I can’t tell you how many times I swung a baseball bat, but I know it was at least several thousand times, without even having a baseball thrown to me.  Just swinging in the mirror, or in the reflection of our front storm door, to make sure my swing was just right, from start to finish.

I figured that if I put in good work off the ice and off the field, then I’d be a better contributor to the team when I skated onto the ice or ran onto the field.

The author of Hebrews said, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13; emphasis mine) With each day – even during a stay-at-home order, even under quarantine – God has given you and me an opportunity to encourage someone and to especially encourage them toward greater faithfulness.

We can practice off the field, so to speak, what we would normally do in person.  Even when we can’t be with them, we can encourage others.  Encouragement is vital. Encouragement instills courage. It imparts strength. It lifts perspectives. It influences attitudes. It empowers. It motivates. It inspires faithfulness.

So, let’s not wait until we “get out” to encourage one another.  Send an encouraging text. Make an encouraging phone call. Post an encouraging message. The more you do it now, the better you’ll be at it later… when we get out.

Dave Lawson

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