It sounds like a line in a Valentine, doesn’t it? We can imagine a soldier penning “I long to see you” to his true love back home. In truth, these are words straight out of a love letter–a letter written by the Apostle Paul to “all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people.” The next part of the line reads, “so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong . . .”
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong . . . Romans 1:11
The Bible study my husband is in recently spent some time on this verse. When I heard about their discussion, I was challenged by it as well. Challenged because I want to think this way! When I call a friend and say, “Let’s do lunch,” I’m thinking: 1.) It’ll be fun to catch up. 2.) I need to get out of the house! and 3.) I love being served food I didn’t have to cook.
How often do I consciously consider what “spiritual gift” I can impart to strengthen my friend’s faith? How often am I purposeful in asking God to show me what she needs–is it encouragement today? A reminder of a promise from scripture? Prayer? Or just listening?
The rest of Paul’s statement reads: “that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
Over the years I’ve been blessed with many friends with whom, after we catch up, the conversation will just naturally turn to the deeper things in our hearts and we will encourage each other and pray together. I’m so grateful for this, but I want to be proactive. I want to start my day asking God to use me to impart blessings to every person I meet.