After my husband retired from his job, we decided to live in Montana for the summer and return to our southern home for the winter.
“Helen, come over. I have some things you can use for your summer home,” my friend Jane said after I told her about our plans. She gave us dishes, clothing, a bed frame, kitchen utensils, and towels. All of the items were a great blessing, but even more important than the physical gifts was her verbal encouragement and support.
“I’m so thrilled that you get to enjoy the summers in Montana,” she said. “Be sure to email me. I want to hear about your activities.”
Not everyone who knew of our plan encouraged us. We heard a variety of comments on why we shouldn’t be gone for the summer months.
“How can you leave your grandchildren?”
“Don’t you know Montana has bears?”
“That’s a long way to be gone from your friends.”
It seems that some people have a hard time rejoicing with others, whether the decision is moving, buying a different car or house, having another child, getting a job promotion, changing churches, or going on a vacation.
Jane’s encouragement amidst the other comments certainly was a highlight for us as we made our move.
When good things happen to others, that’s the time to rejoice with them.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15 (NIV)