1 Thessalonians 3:6–13

We were encouraged. (1 Thess. 3:7)

Umfundisi (pastor) Moyo and I were traveling on foot. When we started out, the slight chill in the air energized us. Our steps were quick and deliberate. Ahead of us was a band of boys. As they were walking, they were also playing catch with an avocado. They were having fun. However, the farther we walked the hotter the sun became. Umfundisi Moyo and I slowed our pace. The boys ahead of us had stopped playing catch and were also walking slowly. After awhile I noticed that the smallest boy had stopped and was just standing there on the dirt path. I could hear him cry, “I am too tired to go any farther!” The others urged him to keep moving, but to no avail.

Then the following happened. The largest boy invited the small boy to jump onto his back by saying, “I will carry you! When I get tired, Tembisa will take a turn carrying you. We will keep doing this until we reach our destination.”

Umfundisi Moyo commented, “What a nice illustration of encouragement.” In our walk with God there will come times when we become weary and even discouraged. We need to keep our eyes open to spot weary or discouraged believers; we then need to come alongside those individuals and say, “I am here to help carry you!”

Watch for people who are discouraged and find ways to help encourage them.

Jim “Umfundisi” Lo is the author of Connect with God: The Purpose of Prayer(WPH) and the dean of chapel at Indiana Wesleyan University.