Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story- those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south…Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Psalm 107:2, 8.
I spent the past week traveling with a long time girl friend to her hometown of Chicago while she was on business. I’ve known this dear friend for over 25 years and this was a unique opportunity to meet her family and friends as well as explore the city.
My girlfriend’s closest friends had met and become Christians in their early college years. They laughed as they shared stories from their years of being new believers. They fell in love with Christ while smoking cigarettes in the basement of a dear woman who patiently shared the Gospel. Over the years, hundreds of young men and women came to Christ while attending this Bible study. One friend shared how she was so eager to learn more about Jesus that she attended Bible college while still doing drugs. The acceptance and patient discipleship of other believers led her to a vital faith in Christ and put an end to the drugs.
Years passed. Some women became pastor’s wives, others mothers, executives,and an aspiring actress. Children were born followed by grandchildren. Life brought joy and pain, but through it all, their love for Christ and one another remained. The week was full of stories that told of god’s faithfulness. You could see the joy in their eyes and sense the strong love they shared.
That brings me to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their love for God and one another helped them stand faithful and face what Nebuchadnezzar sent their way. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians celebrated the shared commitment and love believers demonstrated for God and one another. These scriptures and this past week’s company have made me treasure my friends and our shared history of God’s faithfulness more than ever.