But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, Hebrews 3:13a NIV

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24 NIV

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 NIV

A personal loss can give you a clearer perspective on what is important. So can living with a person who is not well, or most likely has only a few months or years to live. I never lost an opportunity to tell my son Joshua that I loved him, that he was special to me and to his dad and to God. As a result, I have no regrets that I missed an opportunity to share with him how important he was to me personally and to God. After he went home to heaven I did feel a sense of urgency to communicate affirmation, encouragement and love to others in my life.

I started to consistently say “I love you” to my other 3 children at the end of a phone conversation or at the end of an in-person visit. I also seemed to become acutely aware of opportunities to encourage, uplift, and speak into other’s lives immediately following Joshua’s going home to heaven. Psalm 139:16 says, “your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Our days are numbered by God, only God knows when we will die or when Jesus will return. Since March and COVID we have a heightened awareness that our time is short on this earth.

I have had friends tell me that I have a gift for giving others encouragement. Perhaps I do, but I believe we are ALL called to affirm one another, and encourage each other. Paul exhorts the Thessalonian church to, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing,” I Thessalonians 5:11. My son Joshua taught me well that I never want to regret having lost an opportunity to speak encouragement into another person’s life.

So – I want to exhort everyone to “Carpe Diem” – seize the day. Speak encouragement and affirmation into the lives of those around you, your family, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors, the cashiers at the grocery store, even strangers you meet. Don’t miss an opportunity to say an encouraging word, write an encouraging letter, send an email, a text, a Facebook message, or make a phone call to encourage someone who needs to know how much he or she means to you. Time is short.

By Grace Hunter