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Christian Encouragement - A Personal Story

God, help us to encourage one another, for we never know when someone may be on the verge of giving up.

This little prayer appeared at the close of a devotion I read years ago. It made an impression on me; I jotted it down and have kept it on my desk ever since.

Someone close to me has been suffering from chronic, debilitating, degenerative illness for more than ten years. World-class specialists have poked and prodded, tested and retested, but to this point have been unable to determine conclusively the cause of his problems.

He received a terminal diagnosis along the way...though the experts can't agree even on that. His prognosis, therefore, is uncertain.

The doctors are in agreement about one fact: things are not good. Each day his condition deteriorates a little bit more.

This man who never missed a day at the gym and was in superior physical condition, who was a highly successful executive, and who traveled extensively, is now only a shadow of his former physical self. He can no longer work, and essentially leaves the house only for doctor's appointments. He's only 55 years old.

Amazingly, he does not complain. In constant considerable pain, with his world incredibly shrunken, he somehow finds the strength to get out of bed each day.

I read that prayer and thought of this man. And that's why I clipped it and put it in a spot where I could see it every day. Of course, he is not alone. Many struggle with all sorts of serious issues...some of which might be apparent, but about others we may have no idea. Some are people we know. Maybe they're folks we see every day.

That word or gesture of encouragement or kindness could be the one thing that makes the difference.

It may not seem like much to you, maybe even trivial, but to that person who needs it -  it could be the lifeline that gets them through the day. Something worth thinking about.

P.S. By the way, if you feel so inclined, maybe you'll include this man about whom I referred in your prayers.

He's my husband.

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