Willie Mays began his major-league baseball career with only one hit in his first 26 at-bats. Though he went on to hit 660 home runs and steal more than 300 bases, his debut was so unimpressive it seemed unlikely he would last more than a few weeks as a big-leaguer. The turning point for Mays occurred when his manager, Leo Durocher, found him crying in the dugout after yet another miserable performance at the plate. The coach put his arm around Mays and said, "What's the matter, son?" Mays said, "I can't hit up here. I belong in the minor leagues." Durocher said this to Willie Mays: "As long as I'm manager of the Giants, you'll be my centerfielder." The story ends well.
It wasn't long before Mays began hitting the ball, and he was on his way to becoming a legend of the game. If Willie had been left alone in the dugout that day, his career might have ended before it started. Fortunately for him someone believed in him even when he didn't believe in himself. The coach didn’t say "You're a disappointment and you're on the verge on blowing your big chance!" He said, "I know you can make it."
Do you know someone who no longer believes in their ability to do what God has called them to do? Do not underestimate the POWER of your encouraging words (Hebrews 3:13).