Do you ever stop to think of the way God brings special people into your life? Chance meetings, and suddenly you have the gift of a new friend. Beloved, He whispers, I am putting this person into your life to bless you, to love you, to support you.
I’ve thought about this a lot lately. Primarily because I’ve been gifted with some very special friends. Sadly, there are many miles between us, but we are as close as an email or a phone call. They have covered me with their prayers. They have encouraged me with their words. They have made me laugh with their wit. They have challenged me with their courage.
Oh, I wish all my dearest friends lived in my own neighborhood and attended my church. But wait! It isn’t all that long — 30 or 40 or 50 years, if God wills it — before we will be in the presence of the Lord and living in the mansions prepared for us. So my friends and I, all of us believers in and followers of Jesus, will live in the same neighborhood and worship in the same church. Pretty cool, huh?
Jesus, thank You for the gift of friends. I am so blessed. I am so rich. I didn’t go seeking to know these women. You just dropped them into my life and enriched me in countless ways. May I be a blessing and an encouragement to them. Amen.
I learned a valuable lesson a long while ago. I had surrounded myself with a group of “friends” who didn’t know the Lord. In fact, they were disdainful to most people of faith (and I’m sure, now, of me when I wasn’t with them). I was too naive to recognize the spiritual warfare going on, and when the relationships fell apart, I was left wounded. After a time of healing (a much longer time than I wished as I worked my way toward forgiveness), I saw that the “friendship” had been built around one and only one shared interest. We had nothing else in common. It taught me a valuable lesson about true friendship. I don’t have to be friends with the world. I am called to love the world. To have compassion on the world. But I don’t have to let in the whole world into my inner circle. I am allowed boundaries. Jesus had many, many disciples. But out of the masses, He chose twelve to be His special companions, and then He chose three to be His closest, most trusted confidantes.
Friendship is far more than I understood back in those naive days. Now I see the gift when God brings someone into my life. How gracious He is to me.
And then I recall that God wants to be my friend. I know it is true because His word says so, and God cannot lie. Still, the idea that the God of the universe wants to be my friend leaves me breathless. Me, the cracked, broken pot of clay, a friend of God? Amazing grace, how can it be…