Or so it seems.
The very definition of happiness can be elusive, so why do we think our pursuit will end in anything other than a temporary feeling?
Maybe we should consider the vastness of this chasm:
To one, the idea of happiness is found only in the absence of trouble…
…while another sees it merely as the pleasure of a single moment or perhaps even a season.
Webster says this:
Full Definition of HAPPINESS1 obsolete : good fortune : prosperity
2 a : a state of well-being and contentment : joy
b : a pleasurable or satisfying experience
REALLY, Webster? obsolete? That’s it? I don’t think you could fit the definition into a volume, so I’ll forgive you, but I think even you were stumped by this one…
I will never get out of my head the words of my sweet father-in-law during his final hours. A nurse had come in to check on her patient, and before leaving she asked of him, “Is there anything I can get for you–anything you need?” His reply was a simple,
“JUST A KIND WORD.”
Whether it’s a pat on the back, a compassionate hug, or a kind word, the ATTITUDE of encouragement can make a huge difference in someone’s day. Often our happiness is determined by our current situation, and many times it is based on circumstances beyond our control. It just might happen to be a choice that we’re making despite our circumstances and a simple act of kindness would make a world of difference.
Kindness doesn’t change a person’s situation, of course, but it does speak to their heart, and says,
“I hear you.”
“I love you.”
“You’re not alone.”
Simple acts of encouragement just might change the direction in someone’s day or perhaps even the course of a life headed in the wrong direction.
My little granddaughter is only a year old, and she has learned to hold her hand out for a handshake whenever someone says, “Happy to meet you!” It’s absolutely precious–and irresistible! No one could deny the sweet face of a baby–even the grumpiest old codger or the most negative of nay-sayers could resist the temptation to put on a smile and reach their hand out.
I’ve been hesitant in the past to speak of spiritual gifts as a personal testimony, fearing that anything that I say would sound braggadocious, but it has become increasingly obvious to me that one of the things that God has given me a passion for is encouragement.
These are gifts that the Bible speaks about in Romans 12 and it is very obvious that He is speaking of ways that the Holy Spirit will enable us to accomplish the purposes that God has intended for us. Sometimes He calls us to do hard things, but He always enables us.
Because I believe He impressed upon me to start this blog (during the time of my father-in-law’s hospitalization), I also believe that He had a plan for it that I didn’t even know or see at the time. I only wanted to be obedient. So here I am, over the hill and finally willing to say that one of the gifts He has given me is the gift of encouragement. At least He’s given me the passion to be an encourager, so I am trusting that He will show me HOW.
Being willing to learn is something you never outgrow, so I’m asking you to help me in this journey. I would be honored if you would take the time to respond to one or more of these questions:
What are some simple things that encourage you the most?
Who has been your biggest cheerleader and what makes them stand out?
What’s your favorite gift to give?
What’s your favorite gift to receive?
What do you wish someone had done for you during a difficult time in your life?
There is no degree in encouragement, but if there were, I would be the first to sign up, and would go for the double major in kindness!
Won’t you share a kind word today?
The blessing is yours when you do.