“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” —Psalm 27:14

“Do you remember when you had us write a letter to ourselves a couple of years ago in that small group study?”

I didn’t know what my friend was talking about at first, but as she gave me a few more details, the fog cleared. I remembered giving everybody in the group a notecard to write a note to themselves—a note from God, giving them the encouragement they believed he would speak into their lives right then. They sealed the cards, addressed the envelopes, and several months later I mailed the cards to them for a surprise dose of encouragement.

My friend filled in the details of the journey of that notecard during the next several years. When she received it, she didn’t open it, choosing instead to tuck it away for one of those days when she’d need encouragement. Over the years, she came across the envelope of a few more times when she was cleaning or sorting. Each time she felt as if the time wasn’t “just right” to open it…until the day she called me.

The words she had written several years before flooded her heart. She was in the middle of a trying season of parenting, and the letter was filled with words specific to parenting. As she told me the story through her tears, she said she couldn’t imagine what would have made her write those specific words years ago as a younger parent. But she knew God was speaking to her.

My friend thanked me for inviting her to write encouragement from God, but it was me who was thankful. She trusted God’s timing and received his words at just the right time because of it. In the process, God encouraged me as well—to keep trusting him, especially his words and timing, and to be thankful for friends who share their faith stories.

A prayer for today: Dear God, thank you for knowing me well enough to know what I need and when I need it. I’m so sorry I rush ahead or lag behind at times. I often want things my way, but I know that when I trust you, I receive the encouragement I need every step of the way. Thank you for planting seeds today that you will grow tomorrow. Help me be patient. Amen.

This devotion is written by Susan Lawrence and featured in “You Don’t Have to Be a Superhero to Change the World.”