When was the last time that you had a thought, an intuition, an inkling to do something for someone to encourage them....but then you didn't follow through ? If we are honest, all hands should be shooting in the air right now. I think we all have been there.

A friend is sick and we think about sending them a card, or making a meal and surprising them with it. But we don't.

Someone we know seems a bit lonely and isolated. We think about giving them a call to cheer them up. But we don't.

We know someone who is struggling financially. We toy with the idea of anonymously sending some cash. But we don't.

We see a new face at church and they don't know anyone. We want to walk over to them to greet them. But we don't.

The list is endless when it comes to that gentle voice inside of us that we often whispers to us to reach out, to help, to just notice someone in pain. The problem is not that we aren't aware of this gentle prodding, it is that we shrug it off. Let's just be honest here....usually helping others in a siginificant way means inconveniencing ourselves, does it not ? In order to affect another's life, it will take either our time, our money, our energy, or our efforts. That is just the reality of it. What we all have to decide is if we care enough to do that. That pretty much nails it.

This past week I witnessed this first hand and it hugely encouraged me. A friend of mine became aware of a need in another's life simply because she was in a class where the need was mentioned as a prayer request. There are probably over 150 people in the group who also heard the prayer request but my friend acted on it. She contacted the person who was hurting , scheduled a time to meet for coffee and ministered to this person. Was she already close friends with this other gal who was hurting ? No...but she is beginning to be. Why is that ? Because this other gal was struggling with a real hurt, expressed it , and my friend reached out. She connected. She ministered.

Isn't that is what it is all about ?

Presently I am aware of someone going through a trial and I have recently read a book that I know in my heart would specifically help and encourage this person. That inner voice has whispered to me " Buy another copy of that book and give it to so and so ". I have had that thought about twenty-five times.....and that is a shame. I should have immediately followed through on that after the first or second time, yet I didn't. Why you ask ? No good reason, that's for sure. Call it busyness, call it laziness, call it whatever you want, but I can assure you of this. Because I haven't yet followed through, I have robbed two folks of a blessing.....that other person and myself. I am going to correct that.

Can you relate to this post ? I am sure you can because we have all been there.

How would it change our world, our lives, our happiness if we began acting on these instincts to encourage others?

Probably drastically......that's how.

Next time that God taps you on the shoulder, bends down close and quietly speaks to your mind on how to help....

don't wait
don't make excuses
don't procrastinate
don't whine
don't shrug it off

ACT on it....and see what happens.

My friend did....and another's life was greatly encouraged because of it.

I have purposed to be that friend ....to someone else.

How about you ?