Welcome to a new year and new Bible exploration. Several years ago I stopped creating new year’s resolutions and decided to come up with a new way to study and explore God’s word for the year. In case you missed my last post, for 2017 I’ve chosen 52 scriptures to study, memorize and meditate on each week. 12 Old Testament, 12 New Testament, 12 Gospels, 12 Psalms & Proverbs, and 4 scriptures of your choosing.
Each week, I’m going to pull one of the scriptures I’ve chosen out of a box. I’ll read it, memorize it, journal it, read it in different Bible translations and the chapter it’s contained in. Approaching scripture in new ways allows it to penetrate our hearts in new and real ways. Experiencing it, living it, and meditating on it while leaning in to hear what God is whispering for us to know and reveal to our hearts is vital to our continued relationship with our Heavenly Father.
I’ll post my scripture each week and a revelation or insight that caused my heart to skip a beat. I hope you will join me and choose your own scriptures to dwell on during the year. I’m excited to see what God reveals.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. 9 “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
I have this amazing friend. We get together once a month and go visit friends we have made in the nursing home followed by lunch together. We share prayer requests, talk about “girl” stuff, doctors, our kids and laugh a lot. We fight over who will pay for lunch and can have up to 30 minute phone conversations about the state of the world and funny things our husbands have done. What’s so strange about this? She’s in her eighties.
Reading this scripture from Isaiah made me think about our friendship. I then realized that my entire adult life I’ve had friends that were anywhere from 10-40 years my senior. In fact, right now, 4 of my sweetest and closest friends are at least 15 – 20 years older than me. It’s funny I never stopped to consider this before. They were just friends who I loved and treasured so who cares about age, right?!
Once I had this realization, I stepped back to consider why I’m drawn to these women who seem “outside the box” because they aren’t relatives, sitting in carpool with me, attending class holiday parties, or living right next door.
- Their faith in God and their knowledge of his faithfulness is strong!
- They have lived lives and seen trials that have taken them deeper in their faith and given them a renewed strength in their trust of God.
- They have a strong sense of how short life is and don’t have time to beat around the bush. They tell it like it is. They are more concerned about you and your well-being that being cool, trendy or losing your friendship.
- They aren’t afraid to call me out, hold me accountable and ask the tough questions.
- They know things. They just know things! There really is a wisdom that can only come from age and living life.
- They have had problems in their marriage and their children, but persevered, leaned into God and allowed Him to work where only He can and they’ve seen the benefits.
- They are quick to express how much your friendship means to them and don’t feel funny doing it.
My mom (another amazing friend) always told me to surround yourself with people who will build you up and make you a better person. These women do that. I want to be like them when I grow up! I count all of my friends as blessings (no matter what their age). I’m not saying any of my wonderful friends who are my age don’t have these qualities; just that sometimes friendships don’t look the way they do on TV or in the movies.
Just like God’s ways aren’t our ways, His thoughts our thoughts and ways our ways. His plans are better – even when I think mine are awesome! My hope is that this concept will open our eyes to understanding friendships come in all shapes and sizes – as well as ages! Look for those women who have a strong faith, love, light, wisdom and reliance on our Heavenly Father and not matter what their age – learn from them. You never know what kind of friendship will evolve and how you will grow to love and appreciate them.
Thoughtfully reflecting on the amazing qualities of these friends as been such a blessing and makes me treasure them even more. I hope you will think about some of the women around you that you may have never stopped to share with, had the opportunity to volunteer with or spent time in deeper conversation. I pray we will all think outside the box with friendship and other things too. God does, and in my opinion, it’s one of His best qualities.