Wednesday, May 11, 2011

God, the Encourager

by Dale Harcombe

The last 3-4 weeks have been one of excruciating pain for me due to a back problem, that is as yet not sorted. As a result, I have not even been able to get to church or any of my usual weekly activities.

Through it all though I have been impressed with how God has been there. When I was at a low ebb and unable to sit near the computer for more than five minutes, I checked in briefly and found this review of
Streets on a Map had gone up on Amazon.
Needless to say I was thrilled with this great review.

The very next day I received a letter, one and a quarter foolscap pages long telling me how much a reader enjoyed
Streets on a Map and exactly all what she enjoyed about it. Then to top it all off, she said she was ordering in from her local bookshop, 6 copies for her leaders at MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) a group that runs at her church. I have since heard that the bookshop intends getting in extra copies of Streets on a Map to sell as well as her 6.

Meanwhile, I have been aware of the prayers and support of family and friends, bible study group and church members through phone calls, emails and text messages and visits. My daughter, her husband and their young daughter came down to stay for two days on Anzac Day and the next day. With my son in law being an assistant minister in Sydney, the time they have for visits is very limited, so that was special. They cooked a lovely pasta dish one evening.

Other encouragements included promises and encouraging verses from God's Word and from the devotional book I am currently reading. I love how God's Word speaks to me right where I am. Add to these, those who have dropped around a meal so that my darling husband who has been a great support, didn't have to cook for that night since it has all been left to him to cook, shop, wash and do all the other household tasks.

In church, it has been good to hear of how others have stepped up to help lead the singing, which is a job I normally do and love doing. The more people who share in God's work the better.

Another friend visited with a cheer up present. The basket contained a card with owls on it, a plump ceramic owl. I collect owls. My friend told me this was Abby owl, named after the main character in
Streets on a Map and a selection of comfort food- all chocolate.

That same week we had tickets to see
Mary Poppins on stage in Sydney. No way we could use them. I hated to see them go to waste, but then remembered friends from church had recently mentioned they wanted to see it. On the off chance they were free for that night we rang them and asked would they like to buy the tickets. It worked out perfectly for them, as they were already going to Sydney the next day and had been thinking they would miss seeing the show due to family commitments. How great is our God with His planning! They got to see the show and loved it and we weren't out of pocket for tickets we couldn't use.

Mother's Day rolled around and I had been hoping to get to church but couldn't. However, a phone call from my son and a text message and then a call from my daughter cheered me, especially when she mentioned she and her daughter were planning on coming down to stay for a couple of days. With work and college her husband couldn't get away which is a shame, but he was happy for them to come. It is a blessing to have our daughter and granddaughter here now.

Then today, just as I was feeling worse again with pain this morning, I went in to post my blog and read Marcia's post about God's promises. She pointed me back to God's promises and to
Romans 8:28. I see that as just another example of God at work - God, the great encourager.


  1. Great when God encourages. He does it so much more effectively than we do! Still, a good reminder that we should ALL be encouraging one another. Thanks for this prompt, Dale.

  2. Thanks for you comment and encouragement, Shirl. And you are so right about it is something we all should do.

  3. Congratulations on the great review! I know that God knew how much you needed the encouragement right then. May others be encouraged to buy the book! (And may the Lord soon bring relief to your back.)

  4. May God heal your back in the near future and thank you for sharing the ways in which He has encouraged you. Congratulations on the good review. Keep up the good work.

  5. Congratulations on your review, Dale. While I was there I liked your book, said the review was helpful and added some tags. You might want to add more tags as this will help readers find your book. It sounds like one that will be helpful to many people. God bless.