I received her letter in the mail. I saw he name as was immediately filled with joy and regret for not reaching out to her more. Boy, did I miss her!…my long time mentor and friend. An unlikely friendship that God gave me where age didn’t matter. But it did, when I looked to her for wisdom and worried for her health. I was captured by her joy and closeness to Jesus. As I read her words that day I could almost hear her sweet tender voice. It was as if no time had passed.
“Do you have any idea how homesick we became for you, dear friends? Even though it hadn’t been that long and it was only our bodies that were separated to from you, not our hearts, we tried our very best to get back to see you. You can’t imagine how much we missed you! I, Paul, tried over and over to get back, but Satan stymied us each time. Who do you think we’re going to be proud of when our Master Jesus appears if it’s not you? You’re our pride and joy!” 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 MSG
I have been so grateful that God has answered my countless prayers for a friend when I most needed one. Friendships that have been bonded by faith and have drawn me closer to Him. I have been so thankful to have laughed, loved and learned with friends. As well as been stretched and refined. There have been other times when I have been wounded by the deep ache of lost friendship or betrayal. Where I am tempted to throw in the towel or hide and never be vulnerable again. But, I know that it is worth the risk to experience the deep blessing of friendship. The God who heals my broken heart will give me the strength to try again.
These “friends” who hate me whisper slanders all over town. They form committees to plan misery for me. The rumor goes out, “He’s got some dirty, deadly disease. The doctors have given up on him.” Even my best friend, the one I always told everything -he ate meals at my house all the time!-has bitten my hand. God, give grace, get me up on my feet. I’ll show them a thing or two. Meanwhile, I’m sure you’re on my side- no victory shouts yet from the enemy camp! You know me inside and out, you hold me together, you n ever fail to stand me tall in your presence so I can look you in the eye.” Psalm 41:7 -12 MSG
Thank you Father for the gift of friendship in my life. Thank you for your faithfulness. Help me to be a good friend and reach out to others with the love that You have shown me. Amen.