I still remember those days I was involved in the business world. Something was always happening. As soon as you thought today is the day to catch up on some work that is behind, something happened that gobbled up your time. An urgent order or a machine breaking down or a supplier not delivering or the whole factory comes to a standstill because of one small part being broken.
In circumstances like that it is difficult to put people and their needs first. I specifically remember one of many such days. I've made an appointment with one of the staff members the previous day already, because I've been seeing for some time that something was wrong. I could see something was weighing heavily on him. We met early that morning for coffee and after a long discussion things about work and outside of work started coming out and we could talk about them. I think he left in a lighter frame of mind.
Shortly afterwards I was again running somewhere when I saw one of the women crouched in front of her screen, staring at it with a roll of toilet paper in her hand. I did not actually have to find out what was wrong but decided to do it and popped in.
I have not even said anything when the tears started. She was in a big hole. I rolled up a chair and listened. I did not say much. But when I left I knew it had been the right thing to spend some time with her
In a way, I made a difference in other people's lives. In a way, with help from above, I could practically do what this verse says: 11 S o speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.
In our own crooked way, we have to spread the Gospel there where we are living in the world. And the idea is not to learn versa by heart and repeat them and think that it will make everything OK. We should rather show sincere interest and support.
With both people, I could use a part of God's message of salvation to unlock a couple of handcuffs.
We do not have to be theologians to use the Bible to help others. Simply by sharing your own experience you make a difference by bringing hope to other people.
Maybe you think your life is not good enough to be used as an example to help others on the way of salvation, but think again. It does not depend on you whether you can help others through hard times, but on the Holy Spirit! Indeed, the other person can identify with it if you are honest and share your problem.
Never underestimate the work of the Holy Spirit. He is just looking for a vehicle to fetch the baggage that the one next to you at work has to carry. The Holy Spirit is the one doing the work. The Holy Spirit only wants your willingness. He does the rest.
I've often looked with amazement at people who've fallen apart an hour or two ago and was now confidently giving a presentation before a group of people. That's the Holy Spirit's work.
But we are afraid to talk about these things, because what if we make a fool of ourselves and others laugh at us. Do you know others actually long to hear about your struggles and how do you plan to get through everything? People want to hear, despite telling others it is nonsense. Do not keep quiet about the way you walk with God. It may just be the answer the one next to you has been looking for all along!
1 Thessalonians 5: 12-15
Who do you have to spend time with?
How can you be the Lord's voice?
Are you prepared to do it?
Father, I realize it is my responsibility to encourage others. So many of my friends need to hear your message through me. I'm so sorry I do not do it often enough. Show me where You need me. I will go and do my best to make a difference. Amen.