We, more than others, should carry jumper and tow cables not only in our cars, but also in our hearts, by which means we can send the needed boost or charge of encouragement or the added momentum to mortal neighbors.
— Neal A. Maxwell
“One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement. …It is easy to laugh at men’s ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of discouragers. We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word.”
“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” Philemon 1:7
Living in Alaska, jumper cables are crucial necessities. The winters here are challenging on cars, and I’ve pretty much determined to have the best just in case. Whether I need a jump or can give one, they have already paid for themselves.
For the non-initiated, jumper cables are used to essentially replace a dead battery. A car that is running can hook up and provide current to a car that is not running so it can start. It just takes a couple minutes with the cables and it is fairly easy to do.
The ministry of encouragement has been key in my life. There are several people who have been used by God to encourage me. A Christian brother named John Yokela, who is in his 90’s, comes to mind. He is a solid stalwart of faith, and has helped me on my way many times. I don’t know where I would be without his caring words.
The ministry of encouragement is similar to jumping a car. There are people in God’s Kingdom that intervene in our lives. They are equipped with spiritual jumper cables, and just seem to come along when we are dead and are unable to make it work. They come alongside, eager to help and not inclined to judge. They are there to get you moving again, and they seldom will show irritation.
We need to learn how to connect with the discouraged brother or sister. Some of our issues are deadening, they frustrate us to the point that we just want to walk away. Our hearts start to toughen and get hard. Life is full of futility and coarseness. But along comes someone with cables, and in just a few moments our situation has completely turned around. What they’ve done seems miraculous, and the grace they carry with them is profound.
Father, send to your Church gifts of encouragement. We are needy and we could use a jump from time-to-time. Please provide what we need, and help us to bless others. Give us wisdom, power and grace to reach out and connect others to your Presence. Amen.
FYI. How to Jump Start a Car:
Take the Ministry of Encouragement a step further: