I call it the “lean to green” miracle. It’s happened every spring for more than fifteen years. Coming out of the winter months, the grass in our yard is dusty and brown, so much so, a casual passerby might believe it’s dead. Colorado has snow in the mountains, but the climate on the plains—“the Front Range”—is dry, with most warmer months full of drought warnings. But every year around the end of May, I turn on the sprinklers—not huge amounts of water but simply small, consistent waterings. And in about two weeks, what was dry and brown builds up into something lush and green.
That green grass reminds me how vital encouragement is. Without it, our lives and our faith can resemble something almost lifeless. But it’s amazing what consistent encouragement can do to our hearts, minds, and souls. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians emphasizes this truth. The people were struggling with anxiety and fear. Paul saw he needed to bolster their faith. He urged them to keep up the good work of encouraging one another and building each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). He knew that without such refreshment, their faith could wither. Paul experienced this firsthand, for those very same Thessalonian believers had been an encouragement to him, building him up. You and I have the same opportunity to encourage—to help one another bloom and grow.