Can we find any comfort or encouragement in Christ? Paul states this to the believers in Philippi in Philippians 2:1. God has given us encouragement and comfort. John 14:16-18 and John 15:26 tell us the Lord has given us a Comforter – the Holy Spirit. He convicts us of sin, illuminates, instructs, cheers the hearts of God’s people, and lifts up those that are bowed down. He is there and helps in meeting the needs of our heart. Many times the encouragement or comfort we get from the Lord is not exactly what we want, but it is what we need.
Let’s face it, as leaders we need encouragement also! Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where the Lord can use us to be a blessing to others. Here is a true story that I hope will encourage you.
Bridging the Fence
Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict.
It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing
machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding
and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange
of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I'm looking for a few days work" he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?"
"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek
at that farm. That's my neighbor; in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week
there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite
me, but I'll do him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence - an 8-foot fence- so I won't need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow."
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and
the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."
The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter
get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge-a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work handrails and all-and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.
"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done." The
two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. "No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.
"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, but I have many more bridges to build…
Keep building bridges with the people around you. God has placed you right where you are for a specific purpose! Don’t forget that “your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Keep your eyes on Him.
1Cor.15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”