Today’s Monday Musing comes from the Fall 2023 edition of “The Secret Place: Devotions for Daily Life” (Copyright © 2023 American Baptist Home Mission Societies). This devotional for November 20, 2023 was written by Susan Braun of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Printed copies of “The Secret Place” are available in the church building free of charge.

Encouraging the Fainthearted

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. – 1 Thessalonians 5:14

Our family was on vacation in Zion National Park. I am not much of a hiker, but other family members are, and they chose a very challenging hike that wound around switchbacks and narrow ledges as it moved up a mountain. As we struggled up the steep parts, we often encountered hikers who had already reached the top and were on their way down. These hikers were so encouraging: “You’re almost there! It’s so worth it!’ These admonitions gave me the extra push I needed to keep going. Once we did reach the summit and then headed down ourselves, we too offered words of encouragement to those who were struggling up the mountain: “Only about five more minutes; you’re so close!” These encounters reminded me of the Christian walk. It’s so important, while we’re in an “easy” season of life, to encourage those who are struggling. And likewise, when we struggle, it is so refreshing to be reminded by other believers that this season, too, will pass.

PRAYER: God of the narrow and upward way, thank you for people who encourage us on our journey. Help us also reach out to those who are struggling. Amen.