How Can You Enlarge the Place of Your Tent and Encourage Another?

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” (Isaiah 54:2)

A couple of months ago I was in the school office dropping off some paperwork. I told the secretary how much I appreciated the principal and how she even stood a block away after school to help the crossing guards. I turned to leave and saw another woman sitting there at the table. She works with the special needs students. I have seen her frequently use a cane, walking very carefully with each step.

I glanced her way and then said, “You know, I appreciate you too. I know we’ve never met, but I have seen you many days, when I know you were not feeling well, yet you still have a smile for everyone.” She looked surprised and said, “I never realized anyone was watching.” I said, “Yes, I have rheumatoid arthritis and am in a lot of pain. I know how hard it is to push through it, but you inspire me. You are giving those kids a gift in allowing them to see you when you are not feeling well. You let them see that you still care about them and show up for them.”

“Wow. . .” she said, with her eyes glistening. “Thank you.”

Some of us may feel that we have little to give the people around us right now. Our days are filled with just getting ourselves through the day, so it’s hard to find any energy left to reach out to others. Yet it takes so little to make someone’s day. Our world, the “place of our tent” does not need to be small. We can pray for the Lord to enlarge the place of our tent. And then when He does, stretch those tent curtains wide open! Do not hold back! Lengthen your cords and reach out to many people. Strengthen your stakes and the relationships of those around you.

I have since had the honor of getting to know Lydia a bit better, she introduced me to her husband, and I now wave hello. Sometimes the greatest encouragement we can give someone is to simply say, “I see you, I appreciate you, I know you are making a choice to ‘stretch those curtains wide’ and that is an inspiration for me to do the same.” Try it and see what happens.

Prayer: Lord, so many people in our world feel invisible. They wonder why to even bother making the right choices when no one notices or seems to care. Help me be someone who reflects You, who can say, “I see you and I care.”

About the Author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries, which she began in 1993 after her diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. She hopes to encourage church leadership to learn more ways of reaching out to those who are ill with her new Beyond Casseroles DVD, where she shares 24 tips of 3-4 minutes each about how to make a difference in the lives of those who live with illness.”

You can now read this on your Kindle. Find out more at

Can you share an instance when you told someone you noticed them? Did you tell someone thank you for something when they least expected it? How did it make you feel?

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