“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father… encourage your hearts and strengthen you.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17
A talented young athlete, the son of a star baseball player, was struggling in the minor leagues and expected to be released any day. During one game, he came to bat having already struck out once and quickly rang up two more strikes. Then the catcher trotted away for a conference with the pitcher. The umpire, standing behind the plate, spoke to the young man. “You hold the bat just the way your dad held it,” he said. “I can see his genes in you. You have your father’s arms.” On the next pitch, the young man knocked the ball out of the park. His play improved remarkably, and soon he was called up to the major leagues. When asked what changed his game, the young man gave credit to the umpire’s words. “After that,” he explained, “whenever I swung the bat, I just imagined that I was using Dad’s arms instead of my own.”
In your ministry of encouragement in your marriage, remember to use your Father’s arms. Maybe you recall the biblical example of Barnabas, whose name means “son of encouragement.” The Bible says he was “full of the Holy Spirit and faith” (Acts 11:24), and his gift was invaluable in helping the apostle Paul lead others to Christ during their missionary journeys.
Do you sometimes feel inadequate to help others? God Himself is ready to encourage you—and to bless you with His strength to encourage those you love.
Almighty God, thank You for Your gifts of encouragement and comfort to us. Help us to draw on Your strength as we encourage one another. Amen.