By Sue Oberg  |  Encouragement

The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up and He let none of his words fall to the ground.

— 1 Samuel 3:19

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the colors and I love walking through all the fallen leaves—although I am not fond of having to rake all those leaves up! As I think about all the leaves falling to the ground I can’t help but think about this verse, which I have had on a post-it note stuck to the wall of my office for months. I love it! Let me explain why.

Samuel was called by God to be a prophet. A prophet is someone who speaks the words of God to a group of people. A prophet might bring a warning to the people who have turned from God or bring encouragement and hope to people who are suffering. As God established Samuel as His prophet, he kept close to Samuel and to Samuel’s words. As it says in this verse, God didn’t let any of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. In other words, none of Samuel’s words were wasted. None of his words were dead. They all had meaning and purpose and people listened to Samuel and this helped to establish him as God’s prophet.

I love this verse because it helps me think about my own words. We have a lot of power in our words. We have the power to hurt or the power to encourage. We can bring life to someone’s spirit or we can bring a whole lot of hurt and pain. The old saying “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me” is a big fat lie! Sometimes I would rather be hit by a stone then be bruised by someone’s words. Most people who have been hurt by someone’s careless words would agree that a physical bruise heals faster.

There have been times in my life when my words were ones I hoped were not wasted. Words that I said to encourage someone or to bring joy and love to their lives. I walked away sincerely hoping that they were not ignored by the person I gave them to. But there are other times when I walked away hoping my words would fall like the autumn leaves and just get clumped together and raked away into a garbage can.

We use many words in our life and I hope and pray that we aren’t left with aching backs and hearts from having to rake up the mess of what we have said. But most of all, I hope that we allow God to stand guard at the door to our lips so that the words that come out would bring life to others. And I pray at those times our words would not be ignored.

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

— Psalm 141:3

Please don’t let these words fall to the ground…they were meant to encourage!

God Bless,

Sue Oberg, MATS, BSN, RN, Certified Parish Nurse
Connections Group Coordinator
King of Kings