Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Does it really matter?

Have you ever wondered if the things you say really matter?  When you see someone who's upset or someone that you know is going through a difficult time, do you wonder if it really makes a difference whether you try to encourage them or not?  Maybe you've tried to encourage someone and it seemed like it didn't make much of a difference.  My third child, Timothy, was very sick when he was little.  By age four, he had undergone four major surgeries.  It wasn't until after his last surgery, open heart surgery, that the multiple hospital stays each year eased up.  It was heartbreaking to see my little one go through such awful things.  A lot of times I had to help hold him down while they poked and prodded him.  He would look at me like he was wondering why I was letting them do these things to him.  I felt so helpless, knowing I couldn't make it stop.  Out of desperation to do anything to comfort him, I would rub his hair and whisper comforting words to him. It never seemed to matter, though, he would just keep screaming and rocking.  When Timothy was six, I was pregnant with Payton.  For some reason, that I can't remember now, Timothy went with me to one of my appointments.  They were just going to listen her heartbeat.  He was playing with his toys when the midwife came in.  As she laid me back on the table and started to find the heartbeat, Timothy stopped what he was doing and came to my side.  He started rubbing my hair and whispering in my ear all those things that I used to say to him.  He kept whispering them over and over again. I knew at that moment all those years of what seemed to be comforting in vain, were not.  He did hear me and he did understand that I was trying to comfort him.  I lost it.  I'm sure the midwife thought I was crazy lying there bawling.  I was so overwhelmed, that I could barely explain what was happening.  When he thought that I was going through some of the things that he used to go through, he wanted to comfort me.  You have to understand that Timothy is also autistic, so getting glimpses into what he's really thinking and feeling are not as common as with typically developing children.  What a gift the Lord gave me that day!  I have treasured it in my heart ever since.  I learned that even when it seems as if you're not getting through, you are.  Our words make a difference whether we see the fruit of it or not.  There are so many verses in the Bible that speak to the power of our words.  Some speak to the blessings of our words and some to the damage done by our words.  The bottom line is- our words matter.  1Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you are also doing."  Proverbs 16:24 says, "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones."  So keep encouraging others, even when it seems like it doesn't matter.  Sometimes a simple hug or letting someone know that you will be praying for them can mean the world to hurting person.  We may not always see the fruit of it, but it always matters.  Galatians 6:9 says, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."