Join me and think for a few minutes about your relationships with family and friends. What are some of your most important roles or responsibilities within these relationships?

If you would ask me that question, I would answer that encouraging others matters greatly. What matters to you?

Encouraging at all times is purposeful and powerful. It’s even more important when people are discouraged, despairing, depressed, pessimistic, confused, questioning, anxious, doubting, fatigued, and under any kind of stress.

If you took time right now, could you name family and/or friends who could be described with one or more of those words? What if I suggested that you’re in their lives at this particular time partly to be their bright light? To be their energy when they don’t have any. To be their hope in the midst of despair. To have answers for the questions. To smile sincerely when everyone else in the world seems to be frowning. To simply be present. To give them a hug when they haven’t experienced any healthy physical contact lately.

We are in the relationships we’re in by God’s design. He was intentional and He wants us to be intentional as well.

When I was driving in Wisconsin two weeks ago, the clouds and the sun played hide-and-seek. The sun would be brightly shining only to have clouds arrive to cover it. Then, the sun peeked out a few minutes later. After a while, clouds returned. This pattern continued for hours. It was one of those drives when I had to constantly put on and take off my sunglasses.

Just like the blue sky and sun are always behind the clouds, we can remind people clouds in their lives are temporary. We can remind them that the sun is shining behind the clouds. The sky is still blue. Neither have permanently disappeared. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that because the clouds are dark and big. But we can know for them and tell them and keep telling them.

Today, let’s look for someone who needs to be reminded that the sun is behind the clouds. And, let’s reconnect with someone who has done that for us when we’ve needed it and say “thank you.”