The Simple, Empty Box

A box.

Simple. Empty.

A gift. 

A simple, empty box given.

A simple gift, eternal.

I've given several of these simple gifts, different sizes, different shapes, to special people in my life and will continue to do so for as long as I'm able.  My latest one was given on Thursday to a special high school graduate.  A beautiful, lanky, sprangly, little girl that captured a special place in my heart when she became a classmate of my daughter's in third grade. 

The box is empty because she is to fill the box.  But she cannot fill it alone.

Life is hard, not futile.  Life is full, not empty.  Life is joyful, not joyless.  The Christian with eyes to see can trust beyond the hard, the futile, what seems empty, and the sadness.  But sometimes in the midst we all need to be encouraged as we struggle through the difficulties of this life.

Encouragement is a gift from God Himself.  He is our biggest Cheerleader, our greatest Encourager and our strongest Advocate.  He helps us to trust Him in the discouragement so He can move us on to the encouragement.

"May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

He loves us.  He made us.  He is our all in all!   His desire is for His children to stay the course, run the race of life with endurance, grow in character through the tough times, perservere, and ultimately be ushered into His presence as He says, "Well done".

One of the greatest things we can do for our brothers and sisters in Christ is to mimick the Lord by encouraging them in this life to live well and to live fully for Christ and in Christ. 

The Giver of life began the encouragement process.  The giver of the simple, empty box continues the process with...

One single card laid ever so gently in the bottom of the simple, empty box.

Now, no longer an empty box.

A message of hope, faith, and love is one that her heart will burn for in times of distress, sadness, and feelings of failure.  A message to help her battle discouragement as it attacks her from time to time. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."
(Proverbs 3:5-6) 

Place in this box notes, cards, letters that make your heart smile.  Pull one or more out every time you need a hug or a friend.  These precious hand-written notes will hold much encouragement for you as you walk the walk of faith.  Stay close to Jesus. He loves you more than you'll ever know.  Read His love letters to you every day-your Bible.  Draw from His strength, love, and faithfulness.  Remember only true joy, peace, and satisfaction come through knowing Jesus Christ.
Congratulations!  We love you!

With card safely tucked away inside, the lid prayerfully placed on top, the Encouragement Box is delivered and takes its place among the other gifts at the graduate's table.

As she graduates a year early, my heart aches.  Tears flow because I know my own daughter will be the graduate next year, but my heart is also full of hope for this graduate's future. 

Who has encouraged you in your walk with Christ? 
Who have you been an encourager to?

Why not make someone an Encouragement Box?  Then, make one for yourself.  Encouragement is the gift that keeps on giving.  Let me know if you make or take one.  (OR BOTH!)

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."  (Hebrews 3:13 NIV)

My Pleasure,