Devotions

Speaking Encouragement to a Weary Heart

November 4, 2020
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)
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For most of us, fall tends to be a busy time of the year, with kids getting back to school, changing routines and weekly schedules to fulfill. For us Gingham Apron ladies, fall is also an especially busy time for our husbands … who are all farmers.

Farmers work countless hours to get the harvest completed while the weather is favorable. There is great urgency to get the soybeans and corn picked from the fields before they get too dry and before the weather turns cold and snowy.

As farmers’ wives, there is a lot on our shoulders to sustain the family amid the harvest. The days are long for us too — having supper ready and then getting to homework and activities, shuttling kids, picking up the slack from a hardworking husband who’s in the fields and then preparing to do it all over the next day.

Since workers can’t easily leave the fields when harvest is full, one night we decided to go to them. We brought a feast to encourage our hardworking men: Sloppy Joe Sliders, Grandma Betty’s Potato Salad, Calico Beans and Cheesy Mac & Corn spread out on the tailgate of a truck.

This hearty meal hopefully spoke to the guys, “We are with you. We care about you, and we see you working hard.” We know that sometimes their work can go unnoticed by us or our children. One day is just like the next. Our prayer was to encourage them with our words and actions. That day, we hoped by rolling out their favorites, they would say in their hearts, “They see us.”

Our tailgating parties have caused us to reflect upon how we can encourage those in our lives. The story of Barnabas offers us a biblical example of what practical encouragement looks like. We are first introduced to Barnabas in Acts 4:36, where we discover the apostles giving him a new name. The close followers of Jesus saw something intriguing in their new brother, Joseph, and began calling him by the name Barnabas, which means “the son of encouragement.”

Barnabas’ love for Jesus led to many acts of encouragement. When he became a Christian, he was a landowner. He put his faith into action and sold his property, laying the money at the apostles’ feet to be used for spreading the gospel. (Acts 4:37) What an expression of solidarity that must have been for his newfound brothers and sisters in Christ.

Barnabas was willing to help, made himself available and jumped at the chance to serve obediently in whatever tasks were laid before him. The Bible says Barnabas was “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit,” and he did the Lord’s bidding wherever he went (Acts 11:24, NIV).

We all need encouragement in every season of life — a kind word, a hand that reaches out when we need to be seen. Encouraging others can be simple, or it might take planning, but either way, the Bible tells us there is the promise of a harvest: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9-10).

How might acting more like Barnabas in our marriages, families, homes, churches, communities and mission change our world? We encouraged with food that day in the field, but that’s not the only way. There are people everywhere who need to hear, “I am with you. I care about you, and I see you working hard.”

Dear heavenly Father, help me to encourage those around me. I know that You bring others into my life for a purpose. Guide me to love and help them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Acts 20:35, “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (NASB)

RELATED RESOURCES

Find out what inspires The Gingham Apron ladies to invite friends and family to their table, along with the recipes they love to serve. You may also enjoy their full-color lifestyle book, The Gathering Table: Growing Strong Relationships through Food, Faith, and Hospitality — which is as practical as it is pretty.

CONNECT

To become more comfortable and confident in inviting others to your table for a meal, visit The Gingham Apron. Wherever you call home, building community and inviting others into your life is often built around a table with food.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of The Gathering Table by The Gingham Apron. To celebrate this book, Revell will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, November 9, 2020.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND

Today, think about someone in your life who could use some encouragement. Who around you is struggling, lonely, tired or simply needs to be noticed? What is one action you can take to build him or her up?

When you intentionally encourage others, what do you discover in the process? What is God giving you in your heart as you reach out to others?


The Gingham Apron Ladies are five women from one farm family who love to find new ways to celebrate everyday life together. They cherish their beautiful family farm, time spent together and most of all — their faith in Jesus Christ.

 

© 2020 by The Gingham Apron. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Revell for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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