When we encourage people, they can face life “in courage.” Everyone faces times that they just need someone to come alongside them and say, “It is going to be OK. This too shall pass. I am here for you .”

Life is strange and unfair. Good people get blindsided and unjust people get blessed. Makes you wonder what is going on. Before you jump on me about calling anyone good or judging someone as unjust, tell me that you don’t look at stuff that happens sometimes and just scratch your head.

A good case in point is a wonderful Christian lady that came into our lives several years ago. We became friends at the dog park, and it was apparent that we were destined to be more than just friends. Joann is one of the Godliest women I know. She never complains and is always ready to lift up someone else.

When I was going through a terrible financial situation several years ago, I did not know what to do. I had prayed about it but the pressure just kept mounting. Then we met Jo Ann. We barely knew her when she came by our house one day after meeting with us in the park. She gave us a card of encouragement and a little book called Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray to read. When we opened the book, there was a check for $2,200. Wow. Who does stuff like that? She hardly knew us at the time. My wife and I just sat there and cried together at the grace of God and how he uses people to answer prayers.

Jo Ann told my wife recently that she has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She is refusing to go through chemo and is just making the best of it till she meets God face to face. My wife and I are not sure how to encourage someone like Jo Ann. We are not ready to let go of her. I realize we have no control over the when or how it will happen, but why cancer? Why does she have to suffer? Why her of all people? I realize there is no use asking why, but you can’t help but wonder.

We are going to encourage Jo Ann as best we can, but more importantly, she has reminded me of the grace of God. It is enough regardless of what we are facing. His grace is amazing, and we just need to be reminded of it from time to time to encourage one another. God is there with us. He does not promise us a carefree life, but he promises to be with us through it all and to meet our needs. That give me hope.

HOPE stands for: Hang On Pain Ends.


Dan Skognes

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