He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. –Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)
I hope you have enjoyed Breath on Paper’s study on the spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. Each gift is unique in its own way with the purpose to glorify God. We’ve tackled the gifts of: faith, healing, love, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and word of knowledge. For our final week on this subject we will take a closer look the spiritual gift we believe the Lord has blessed us with.
Read, enjoy and be encouraged.
“Good morning!” She says smiling as she enters the room. “How are my babies today?” As the door closes behind her, she reaches for the watering can by her feet. She pauses, takes a deep breath and sighs at the beauty that surrounds her.
She walks to the table and places the watering can on the ground and gently caresses the bright yellow petal that hangs from the strong stem. “My, my how you have grown little one.” She says looking up toward the glass ceiling. “I thought I’d lost you. But you are a fighter.”
As she kneels down and grasps the watering can she notices hidden in all the beauty is a droopy, brown lifeless stem. She drops the watering can and reaches for the delicate flower. As her eyes begin to tear up, she places him on the table next to her and examines him. She pulls him closer, smiles and says, “All you need is some tender-loving care.”
What a beautiful illustration of love and care between a gardener and her flowers. She tends to their needs by providing tenderness, a gentle touch, kind words and an environment on which to thrive. She encourages them to be their very best.
Just like a gardener tends to the growth and well-being of her flowers, I care for God’s children in the same way through the spiritual gift of encouragement.
Without encouragement, a person can easily become distracted by attitudes and emotions leaving them to venture from the path God has for them.
Have you ever felt discouraged? Are you overwhelmed by the aches and pains in your life? Do you feel God has forgotten you? I know I have. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that “we are not fighting against the flesh-and-blood enemies. But against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against might powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly place.”
The Bible is full of stories of those before us that have experienced discouragement and have prevailed. 1 Kings 19:3-10 tells the story of the prophet Elijah who became discouraged. His victories required significant emotion and physical effort which caused him to experience depression and discouragement. Jesus tells his followers in John 16:33 that “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Tremendous words of comfort and encouragement from our Heavenly Father- “I have overcome the world.”
A great reminder that our God is bigger than any problem we face. –Tonya
Tonya Masoner is a part-time legal assistant and full-time school custodian. She enjoys thrift shopping, pizza Sunday’s and binge watching Netflix. She loves telling people-“God’s got a sense of humor… I don’t even drink coffee.” Her Breath on Paper bio can be found here.
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