Oh, Brother ~

“My heart is overwhelmed.  I sent the boys down to do chores.  The wind and atmosphere is just right and I can hear (but not see) them about 100 yards away through the trees and brush.  

They ran into trouble with the water hose and I listened to hear how it was handled.  As I listened, the older brother patiently talked his younger brother through the challenge then heartily told him, “Great job!”  
Little brother, with pride and accomplishment in his voice, loudly replied, “Thanks!”
My eyes filled with tears. 
There is so much impatience and condemnation in the world.  Hearing encouragement and patience between siblings made my heart happy and eyes watery.
Then I was struck with how God must certainly feel the same about us when we extend hands of mercy, encouragement, and patience as others are facing challenges.  Especially, when maybe they were the ones that got themselves into trouble in the first place. 
No more condemnation.  Let’s just encourage and be patient. 
‘There but for the grace of God, go I.’”  (Originally posted 8/4/14)
I’m reminded of this story today as once again I witnessed my three boys actively working to get along. 
They’re each so very different with unique personalities, styles, perceptions, and talents.  I encourage them often to celebrate each other’s strengths without envy and help each other in their weaknesses just like any other parent.  Sometimes, like other parents, I wonder how much of it they’re just nodding along with to get me to cease my lecture and how much of it is sinking down into their hearts.
My heart is happy today.  I’m reminded once again how important it is as believers for us to look on each other with compassion and love.  
My strengths and weaknesses may be different than yours, but we can bring such joy to our Father’s heart when we cease being competitive and envious with each other and seek to help each other without condemnation or saying, “I told you so.”
We each need a helping hand at times.  We each have different expressions of God’s goodness due to our experiences and out individual talents.  Let’s celebrate each other’s strengths and be a compassionate helping hand in weaknesses.  
I know it must truly warm our heavenly Father’s heart when He sees us actively pursuing peace with each other, showing kindness, and lifting each other up rather than tearing each other down.
“Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.”  Romans 12:10


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