Not long ago, someone I know visited a church on his vacation. The sanctuary was filled with people of all ages, and the service was pleasant. He went home, and soon afterwards, he felt the prodding of the Lord to send the pastor a note of encouragement. He looked up the address of the church and wrote it on a piece of paper. But because he was busy that day, he put the piece of paper on his desk, with the intention to deal with that later.
Another week or so went by, and he came across that piece of paper with the church's address written on it. He looked at it, sighed, and wondered if he should actually write that pastor, or ignore the prodding that he thought he had felt a few weeks before. The more he thought about it, the more convinced he felt that he should go ahead with his first thoughts. He took out a pen, found another piece of paper, and started to write. He basically told the pastor that he had visited recently, enjoyed the service, and felt that he (the pastor) needed some encouragement. He ensured the pastor that he was doing a good job, and that the Lord would continue to use him in a mighty way. Then he wrote a check out and sent that also with the letter.
A week went by, and this person received a letter back from the pastor. It was a thank you note. The pastor shared how depressed he had been feeling and wondered if he was making any impact at all in his congregation. Apparently, he had been receiving a few complaints, because he wrote that when he saw the handwriting through the envelope, he was expecting more bad news. And when he read the letter of encouragement and saw the check made out for him and his wife, he said he almost fell off his chair! He truly felt lifted up and renewed because of that note of encouragement. It arrived at just the right time.
It was no accident that the man visited this church. It was no accident that he felt the Lord's prodding to encourage this pastor. And it was no accident that it arrived in the pastor's hands at that time. God's timing is always perfect.
Are we doing our part? Are we listening to the gentle prodding of the Lord? He sees all things and cares about what we all go through. And He uses people to reach out to others who need encouragement, love, and the reason to hang on. And to keep going.
Let's do our part. Let's respond to that gentle voice of God. And not put it off. Someone out there needs the power of encouragement.