Christmas Is A Season For Encouragement

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4)

There are two people I never thought I would meet on this side of Heaven: An Internet reader from a community in which I wasn’t known, and one of the individuals who had something to do with a voice I heard that led to my salvation. Let me explain.

My Internet ministry has exploded over the last ten years. My website, www.devotions.com, is one of world’s most popular websites for devotions. In fact, it’s generally found on the first page when the keyword, Christian devotions, is used. Hundreds of thousands of readers find my website each year. Who would have ever thought God could make that happen!

Several years ago, my wife and I were in Louisville, Kentucky attending a Christian event at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. We stayed in a hotel near the Convention Center. One morning, just before noon, the fire alarm sounded, and we were instructed to exit the building via the stairway. I noticed a young man in a wheel chair waiting with his mother. She looked frightened and I asked her if I could help her. Another gentleman and I picked up the wheel chair and navigated our way down four flights of stairs. She looked so relieved when we arrived outside.

As we stood in the parking lot, we introduced ourselves. The young man in the wheel chair was in his mid-to-late twenties. “Hello,” I said. “I’m Mike Ruffin.”
“You’re Mike Ruffin?” he asked. “The Mike Ruffin of Devotions.com?”

“That’s me. Are you one of my Internet readers?”

“You bet I am,” he replied. “I look forward each week to reading your devotions. You have been such a blessing.”

The biggest frustration with an Internet ministry is you rarely meet any of your readers. “Well, the blessing is all mine,” I told him. “You’re the first internet reader outside one the communities in which my column appears in print that I’ve ever met!”

I’ve often wondered if the weekly devotions that appear on my website make any difference. I do hear from some loyal readers from time to time, and I am grateful for their encouragement. But, to hear from one of my anonymous readers I thought was an answer to prayer. It was God’s way of encouraging me to continue to fight the good fight. Thank you, Eric, for lifting my spirits.

I’ve written before about my salvation experience. Two young boys rode down a country road with a loud speaker repeatedly saying “Repent, repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand”. We went to dinner with my wife’s parents. We were seated. Her parents knew the pastor who was setting beside them. After we started talking, I was telling the pastor about my salvation experience. Unbelievably, the man who drove the truck for those two young boys was sitting with that pastor!

He remembered the boys and driving them throughout the countryside that night. He also told me that, unfortunately, both the young men had passed away.
“Thank you so much,” I told him. “I am saved today because of your faithfulness.”

Christmas is a season just begging for encouragement. For some, it can be a season of great joy, or a season of real gloom. Your brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of which season they may find themselves, may need a word of encouragement from you. It’s a gift that costs very little.

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