Oh goodness… what will we do today?
Who will sneeze on me today?
Why are these questions of concern when it comes to the Pandemic?
The question about what I will do today must be answered whether there is a Pandemic or not.
I’m sorry but I would have to say that I would NEVER want anyone sneezing on me.
Am I right?!
Encouragement Can Be Safe
To remain encouraged through this Pandemic, we must focus on supporting, encouraging, and empowering each other.
We can either gather (safely) or communicate in other ways.
Our family meets (almost) each Sunday for a Zoomby Zoom sessions. My sister thought of the idea and it has occurred for over a year now.
We have the same conversations we would have during our gatherings, but more often because we do not live remarkably close together.
Another way to stay in touch is through the phone… call or text even more often than before the Pandemic.
I would say that even after this Pandemic (if ever) is over, we continue to use the phone for encouragement through texts and calls.
I have come to enjoy emoji, like and etc.
Some emojis are encouraging. Some are sad, some are weird (which can be encouraging), and some are rude.
I just found out that certain happy face emojis are rude and should never be used.
They’re happy, right!?
I will use my happy face emojis to encourage my family and friends even on Facebook and other social media and hope they are not offended.
Other Forms of Encouragement
So, let’s get back to Super Old School styles… snail mail cards, letters, and pictures to make each other feel more connected.
I just received a picture of my niece in the mail and felt an instant dose of encouragement. She has graduated from college.
Snail mail connection is encouraging, especially when people live far away. Sometimes your card, letter, or picture can even encourage someone who is sad. Therefore, using snail mail might be Old School, but it is still fun and encouraging.
I felt connected to my niece, even though she lives on the East Coast (I am in Cali) because of snail mail.
All right, all kidding and emojis aside, connection helps people find encouragement.
Connection is necessary and in-person connection has changed tremendously. Therefore, working with the changes, instead of against them will cause you to feel more encouraged.
Encouragement Does Take Courage
What happens when we feel more encouraged?
We can be more encouraging.
It takes courage to be an encourager.
So where can we find this courage?
To find out click here for my book, Encouragement Takes Courage: Building Each Other Up in HIM
Standing in the Gap for Others
Prayer is the strongest form of encouragement and it helps us to stand in the gap for someone.
I had my grandmother praying over me for almost 25 years and her prayers were heard, in His timing, I returned to Him.
My grandmother could have given up hope, had she relied solely on her timing, but here I am. Hopefully this encourages you all.
1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
1 Timothy 2:1-6, NIV
When people feel down, they tend to isolate. This can lead to depression.
If you suspect that someone you know is feeling sad or even depressed. Call them or go see them. But bring your mask.
Better yet, take them something fun to eat… chocolate (it helps depression and it’s tasty too), something homemade, herbal tea (okay, drink too).
Simply show up and be their encourager.
People can fall into sadness for many reasons.
One reason can be that they are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and are embarrassed and ashamed.
We must be willing to help them find hope in a future. God is with them too. They simply cannot hear or see Him through their addictive haze. Please reach out to them often. Tell them they are loved. Share His love with them enough and they will turn toward God.
When someone falls alone, it is more difficult for them to find the strength to get back up. Or to even feel cheered up.
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12, NIV
When we stand in the gap, it is difficult for the enemy to knock either of us down. The person we are standing in the gap for has a better chance of finding His strength and they will get back up again. And we are encouraged by their newfound strength in Him.
Final Thoughts about Life and God
Life is hard and it feels harder amid this Pandemic. We need encouragement more now, then we have before. Therefore, we must work together, either in person or through some form of communication, to strengthen each other.
God is with us no matter what happens during the Pandemic. However, He also created us to communicate. We are to communicate with each other and encourage each other.
And we are to communicate with Him.
It has been an honor to share His encouraging words with you all. I hope these words find you well.
If not, please leave your prayer requests in the comments below.
Also, please comment about what you and your family and friends are doing to communicate with each other during this Pandemic.
It is a joy to read the comments because His love is shared through the communication of our comments to each other.
I hope and pray that each of you is blessed, loved, and encouraged today, and every day.
Blessings and honor to you all!
Thank you and God bless and keep you always!
Encouragement Takes Courage: Building Each Other Up in HIM, by Christine C Sponsler M-Div, MA, CLC