Maria looked over her shoulder at her mother, whose eyes were half shut against the drizzle. When Maria had won a ribbon in the girl's division of the city race the year before, her mother had decided she would like to race the next time too. But Mom didn't look so enthusiastic now as they practiced in the cool, soggy weather.
Her mother slowed to a walk, and Maria dropped back. "Come on, Mom," she said. "You can make it to the stop sign. It's not much farther." Mom smiled weakly, nodded, and jogged to the sign. "Now, let's go around the block just once more," Maria urged. "I'll be right beside you." Seeing Mom frown, Maria added, "It helps to think about something else while you run. You know what I do sometimes? I recite Bible verses to myself--or maybe a whole psalm I've learned. Come on--you can do it!" A determined look crossed Mom's face, and she kept up her pace till the very end.
Back home, Maria and her mother changed into dry clothes and crashed onto the couch together. "Are you tired, Mommy?" asked Samuel, Maria's little brother.
"I sure am," said Mom, rubbing her legs.
"I wasn't sure you were going to make it this time," said Maria, "but you did just fine."
"I don't know if I would have made it without your encouragement," Mom replied. "You've been such a big help to me." Maria smiled, and her mother gave her a hug. "I appreciate your help in laying out a practice course and showing me how to pace myself, but most of all I appreciate the way you encourage me when I'm about ready to give up." She grinned at Maria. "And thanks for that suggestion about reciting Bible verses. The one that immediately popped into my mind was the verse that says children are a heritage from the Lord.'"
"What's a hair-tage?" asked Samuel.
Mom laughed. "It means children are a gift from God." She looked at Maria. "Your encouragement this morning proved that to me once again."
"Thanks, Mom," Maria said. "Now you're encouraging me!"
"Good," said Mom. "Jesus wants us to encourage one another."
Susan S. ArcandHOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you encourage your family members and friends? Can they count on you for a kind word or maybe an uplifting Bible verse? You may be young, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a real help and comfort to those around you. What can you do or say today to encourage someone else and show them God’s love?
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Hebrews 10:24 (KJV)
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. (NLT)