I’ve been talking with a couple of friends about how God uses people to say just the right thing at just the right time. In most of the situations we’ve discussed, the encourager didn’t even know that the “right words” were needed. They were simply speaking from their heart. We expect this to happen with our friends, right? It makes sense that God would use the people closest to our hearts to build us up or challenge us.
It catches me by surprise when God chooses to use a total stranger to encourage me. Recently He did just that.
I was feeling discouraged about some recurring pain in my knee (the one I had surgery to fix back in March). I knew I had overdone it. I knew I still needed to mix times of rest with my activities. My brain knew all of that. But my heart wanted everything to be completely healed and able to be used however I want.
Discouraged… Frustrated… I went to bed with a sour spirit.
I got the mail the following day and found a handful of checks from fellow Samaritan Ministries members. (If you’re not familiar with the health care cost sharing that’s available through Samaritan, it’s worth investigating. I share our experiences here.) I opened the envelopes, recording the amounts received and skimming the notes people had enclosed. They were the usual “praying for your full recovery” kinds of messages sent to encourage.
Then one note stopped me in my tracks.
I’m so sorry that you have had such a struggle with the knee surgery and then the blood clot. Praying for your healing and comfort. Praying that the Lord will give you peace when you feel frustrated that you can’t get well as fast as you thought. He is the God who sees and He knows you intimately.”
It hit me that God would have prompted this sweet lady to pen these words specifically for me days before my frustration peaked. He timed it so that her words would land in my mailbox just when I needed them. He sees even my seemingly insignificant frustration over knee pain as important enough to address in a very personal way. He cares for me that much.
And He cares for you that much too.
Let’s be faithful in sharing the words He lays on our hearts for other people. Sometimes He whispers encouragement to souls, and sometimes He speaks through friends, family, or strangers. We don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to be the voice to deliver words of life.
Even to strangers.