Words of Encouragement
Young Samuel in Prayer
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
This page includes stories, illustrations, and various items I’ve collected from here and there over the years. Look for new items at the top of the page from time to time..
GOD IS ENOUGH
The thing that helped me personally more than anything else to come to a conviction that God was really enough for me was an experience I had some years ago. It was at a time in my life when I was passing through a great deal of questioning and perplexity, and I felt that no Christian had ever had such peculiar difficulties as mine before. There happened to be staying near me just then for a few weeks a lady who was considered to be a deeply spiritual Christian, and to whom I had been advised to apply for spiritual help. I summoned up my courage, therefore, one afternoon and went to see her, pouring out my troubles; I expected of course that she would take a deep interest in me, and would be at great pains to do all she could to help me.
She listened patiently enough, and did not interrupt me; but when I had finished my story, and had paused, expecting sympathy and consideration, she simply said, “Yes, all you say may be very true, but then, in spite of it all, there is God.” I waited a few minutes for something more, but nothing came, and my friend and teacher had the air of having said all that was necessary.
“But,” I continued, “surely you did not understand how very serious and perplexing my difficulties are.”
“Oh, yes, I did,” replied my friend, “but then, as I tell you, there is God.” And I could not induce her to make any other answer. It seemed to me most disappointing and unsatisfactory. I felt that my peculiar and really harrowing experiences could not be met by anything so simple as merely the statement, “Yes, but there is God.” I knew God was there, of course, but I felt I needed something more than just God; and I came to the conclusion that my friend, for all her great reputation as a spiritual teacher, was at any rate not able to grapple with a peculiar case such as mine.
However, my need was so great that I did not give up with my first trial, but went to her again and again, always with the hope that she would sometime begin to understand the importance of my difficulties and would give me adequate help. It was of no avail. I was never able to draw forth any other answer. Always to everything would come the simple reply, with an air of entirely dismissing the subject, “yes, I know; but there is God.” And at last by dint of her continual repetition I became convinced that my friend really and truly believed that the mere fact of the existence of God, as the Creator and Redeemer of mankind, and of me as a member of the race, was an all‑sufficient answer to every possible need of His creatures. And at last, because she said it so often and seemed so sure, I began dimly to wonder whether after all God might not be enough, even for my need, overwhelming and peculiar as I felt it to be. From wondering I came gradually to believing, that, being my Creator and Redeemer, He must be enough; and at last a conviction burst upon me that He really was enough, and my eyes were opened to the fact of the absolute and utter all‑sufficiency of God.
‑‑‑from Hannah Whitall Smith’s book, “The God of All Comfort,” pages 247‑249
Giving When it Counts
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz, who was suffering from a rare and serious disease.
Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5‑year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.
I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her..”
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks.
Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her. ‑‑‑source not known
The Farmer’s Donkey
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The
animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried
to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the
animal was old and the well needed to be covered up
anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help
him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel
dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what
was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s
amazement, he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked
down the well and was astonished at what he saw.
With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the
donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it
off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors
continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he
would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon,
everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the
edge of the well and trotted off.
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of
dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake
it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a
stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells
just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off
and take a step upward!
A CHILD OF THE KING
The story is told of a rich lady, who was very unhappy. She said to her chauffeur one day, Jim I want you to take me for a drive this afternoon. I am simply bored with everything.
After a considerable amount of driving through the nice part of the city, Jim started driving through the slum section. The rich lady’s eyes fell upon the poor, ragged, and dirty children who lived in shacks and played in unpaved streets. As they drove slowly over the dusty and bumpy streets she heard someone singing and observed it was a man digging a ditch. Say Jim, she said, pull up and stop. I think I’d like to talk to that man.
She got out and picked her way through the weeds toward the digging man. As she approached, she heard something like this:
I’m a child of the King, a child of the King,
With Jesus my Savior I’m a child of the King.
Pardon me sir for interrupting but did you not say, you’re a child of the King?
The man looked up rather startled, being timid in the first place; He just stood and looked at her pleasantly as if to say, Yes, I am.
She continued, I don’t think I know your father or who He might be. Maybe you’ll tell me about Him and just who He is.
The man just smiled and bent back to his digging, singing—
My Father is rich in houses and land,
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands.
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
His coffers are full He has riches untold. I’m a child—
Please excuse the interrupting again. I don’t understand how you can be a child of the King. It just doesn’t add up. A child of a King does not dig ditches and earn his living by the sweat of his brow. Please explain what this is all about.
He just smiled and bent back to his digging, singing
I once was an outcast, a stranger on earth.
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth.
But I’ve been adopted my name’s written down.
I’m an heir to a mansion a robe and a crown. I’m a child of the—
No! Please not again. You say you’re a child of the King. Here you are, sweaty, dirty, grimy, digging a ditch, trying to earn a little money. A child of the King! Hump! Listen man, you don’t have enough money to buy clothes for your wife and children, and to furnish them with a decent home. A child of the King!! Hump! By the way, where do you live?
He smiled and pointed toward a leaning shack, across the tracks on a little knoll above the creek. As she looked toward his house, He bent to his digging, singing—
A tent or a cottage why should I care?
They’re building a palace for me over there.
Though exiled from home, yet still I can sing,
All glory to God, I’m a child of the —
No, no, no! Not again! A child of the King, of all the crazy things. She hesitated, and then in disgust, yet with the expression of a disappointed longing, she looked at him and said,
I CAN’T SEE HOW A MAN WHO HAS SO LITTLE CAN ACT LIKE HE HAS SO MUCH.
She turned and walked briskly away toward the waiting limousine, got in and zoomed away, leaving behind a great cloud of dust.
The man leaned on his shovel and watched as she made her sudden departure. As the dust cleared away, He said with a feeling of deep, deep, sympathy,
I CAN’T SEE HOW A WOMAN CAN ACT LIKE SHE HAS SO MUCH, WHEN REALLY SHE HAS NOTHING.
Then smiling he went back to his digging, singing,
I’m a child of the King, a child of the King.
With Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King.
THE ANT AND THE CONTACT LENS
Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was very scared, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took hold of the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact lens. Well, here she is, on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there. Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” She thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.”
Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it on it’s back. Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord, I don’t know why You want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I’ll carry it for You.” I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.” God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him…I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13) — A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona