‘Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.’ Philemon 1.7
Paul is writing to his friend, Philemon, for a very specific reason; to ask him to take back a slave called Onesimus who had run away. The impression is that Onesimus had become a major issue between them, yet despite this Paul says something really lovely about Philemon. He describes him as a refresher of people's hearts.
You may be experiencing major issues in your life, things that tend to dominate your thoughts, yet despite this you can still have a positive impact on others. Whatever pre-occupations and needs you have are not meant to block the wonder of God flowing from you, and yet so often this is the case.
It is not that anything actually blocks God flowing from us, but we think it does. Too often we assume that God cannot use us because we are below par or feel pretty useless compared to others. Yet the truth is, how could he possibly not use us when he is always present within us? This means that every one of us is perfectly capable of being a fountain of life and encouragement to those around us.
Whatever is preoccupying you today, there is not a person you will meet who could not be refreshed by a kind word, a smile or a word of encouragement from you, because you carry within you the light of Jesus that can never be extinguished.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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