Be a voice of encouragement

 Matthew 12:20 **A bruised reed shall he not break,  and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.** Matthew 12:20

Part 1

Have you ever received a beautiful bouquet of flowers?  Maybe some red roses for Valentine’s Day or some daisies to brighten up the house in Spring?  And then you put them in a pretty vase with some water to keep them fresh and beautiful?

Flowers are fragile things. They bloom. They share their beauty,  and then they die.  They have very short, temporary lives.  When their beauty withers,  what do we do? If you are like me, you  try to make them last a little bit longer? I change the water frequently, keep them in cooler temperatures, cut the stems back a little bit so they can get some extra water, and maybe  add a little life extender powder into the water. We all want them to last a few days longer sharing their beauty and their fragrant smell, don’t we?

Candles add beauty in a different way to our homes and to the holiday seasons.  They add light and warmth  to the decor.  We usually light them in the evening so they can give a touch of romantic light to the home, softening the harshness of the day. We enjoy their light and warmth throughout the evening but then it’s time to blow them out before we retire for the night.  After that moment when we extinguish their flame, what happens?  Is there not still a bit of fire in the wick, a little smoke ascending from the candle itself. Even though the light from that candle now is minimal there is still a little Spark, a little smoke that  reminds us of its fragrance and the light that it gave before it completely burns out.

 I wonder if we are giving  that same amount of effort to extend the life of our friends and family members, neighbors and coworkers? I am not speaking of physical life, but inner life, heart life.  We give so much attention to assure that a candle or a bouquet give their beauty over and over again, but are we as  quick to protect the  light and the beauty of those around us? Are we more likely to mar our loved ones beauty with criticisms, insults, discouragement and rejection?

This verse in the Gospel of  Matthew describes to us the Heart of Jesus Christ. He would never be the one that would put out that last spark of life in a person. He would, of course, see and know all of  their defects. But he  treated people for what they could be, not who they were.  

Also in the Book of Matthew,  chapter 6,  Christ tells us that He clothes  the Lilies of the Field with splendor,  but that we mean so much more to Him than the flowers.  His care for us is so much richer than the beauty  of that field.  

 Have you ever had a really frustrating day and then something really kind, or surprising, or beautiful happens?  For me, that is the hand of God showing his love and acceptance and approval and encouragement. It is Him putting spark back into our flame,  straightening our stalk, and making us bloom again . 

 God is always watching over our heart.  He strengthens us from within, so that we are able to endure another hour, another day, another heartache. 

 In the Gospels, we see Jesus Christ healing the sick,  giving sight to the blind,  and forgiving sinners.   He always left those He encountered in a better state, sending them away  stronger,  encouraged,  and hopeful. 

Jesus Christ, when he walked on this Earth, treated people with patience, kindness, gentleness, love and encouragement. As the Author of life,  His job was to always give more life. To make it brighter,  happier,   and more fulfilling.  

Whether it is a flower,  a candle, or the person next to you, let’s do everything possible so that their beauty shines and their flame never goes out.  It’s what Jesus would do.

See you on Monday for part 2!

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