All for One, One for All
Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear!" Isaiah 35:4
Eric, our only son, was to graduate in May 1992, but first he needed to get some extra credits. One of the credits Eric needed was in English, his least-favorite subject. He had to take the English course by correspondence, and it was a major understatement to say he needed our encouragement. If Eric was going to successfully complete his required English project, he was going to need encouragement from David, from his sisters, from his grandmother, and from me.
We encouraged Eric in his studies, and when it was time to take his final test, we all encouraged him just to do his best. He completed the test and mailed it in, and we all anxiously waited and watched the mail because we all wanted to know whether he had received a passing grade. After what seemed like an eternity, we received his test results. Eric passed!
Our family will always have fond memories of working toward the common goal of Eric's graduation, largely because it was something of a team effort. We were careful to make sure Eric was the one who did the work, but at the same time no one in the family announced, "It's your problem, Eric, so you solve it." We offered him all the help we could, but more than that we offered him encouragement. We all felt that when a Ferguson needs help, we're ready as a family to pitch in.
Encouraging one another—whether it's in English, work projects, child raising, or spiritual growth—helps remind families of eternal priorities. English papers, work accomplishments, and children's toys assembled at Christmas in and of themselves will all eventually fade away. But the encouragement offered in these things continues. Encouragement helps seal in our hearts the joy of others' care and the specialness of their love.
In what specific areas do members of your family need encouragement today?
Lord, may our families make consistent use of the gift of encouragement.