Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
– Proverbs 16:24 NIV
I remember the morning after my brother died, a pastor from my church called James. She wasn’t sure if I was ready to talk so she figured she would call James and speak with him. She spoke words to James, who then delivered them to me, that became the foundation of my healing. Her words were strong, clear, biblically based, and full of love.
Those words were encouragement in it’s purest form.
Her words became a landing pad for my heart and mind while I struggled with knowing where my brother was and how everything got to this point. The words she spoke, spoke very clearly to the situation of how my brother passed and the events in his life leading up to his death. When I would wake up in the middle of the night crying or in a panic, her words would pop into my head and give me peace. When I would be in the store and just burst into tears, her words would calm me. When I would sit in prayer and have nothing to say, her words ran through my mind over and over.
Still to this day, almost 6 years past his death, those words still play on repeat in my heart. The Lord used that short conversation to bring me encouragement through the darkest season of my life. While all the focus was given to my parents, her words were the only words of encouragement I received.
We never know what people are walking through or the weight they’re carrying. I am sure when people saw me burst out into tears at the store they had no clue it was because I was surrounded by grief. I know for a fact when I see someone who is grumpy at the store I immediately think they’re probably just a negative person. But what if that person just lost someone close to them? Or doesn’t know how they will pay the bills and may be homeless at the end of the week?
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
– Proverbs 12:25 NIV
When you see someone going through a rough time, or they confide in you, always encourage first. When you see someone trying a new adventure in life, encourage them on their new path. When you know someone has a big decision to make, encourage them.
We only know what we see and people have a great way of hiding a lot. We never know when our words of encouragement will be exactly what that person’s needs. We never know when we encourage someone if those words will play on repeat in their heart when needed the most. We never know when our words will be used as healing.