Week 41 – A Rare Gift

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Friends - Proverbs 18

A man with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Sometimes reading Scripture takes us back to a time in our lives that God used our circumstances to teach us. Often, He will gently remind us of lessons He has already taught us. These moments are a wonderful reminder of His presence, love & desire for us to continue to grow in Him.

This verse from Proverbs quickly brought my mind back to a blog I wrote in 2009. I’ve reposted it below. Although these times of remembering can be bittersweet, I never want to forget the lessons God taught me through trial and tears. It is those lessons that are the light in the darkness, the joy that comes out of sadness and the good He can provide out of the worst situations.

We are all guilty of it. Taking our problems, our concerns and complaints to others before we take them to God. He is the one we should go to first when we are seeking wise counsel.

God drove this point home to me in 2008. It had been a tough few months. Everything seemed to be falling apart. My friend Shannon’s cancer had spread to her brain, my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I had a disappointing birthday and oh, how the list continued, but I will spare you. It was summer and all my friends were traveling, busy with camp, the pool, etc. When I tried to talk to them everyone seemed distracted. They were out of town or running out the door to the next activity or obligation. Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty of the same thing. We get in a hurry and fill our schedules to the brim so there is no margin for the things that might pop up.

After the fourth attempt to talk to a friend and getting nowhere. . . it hit me! God spoke to my heart and I realized I needed to be taking all of this worry and concern to God. God, who is my friend, is always closer to me than anyone, and who knows me better than I know myself.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying we don’t need to seek the counsel of our friends. God has put friends in our lives to support us, love us, give us solid Christian advice and hold us accountable. I praise God for my girlfriends every day!

I think God was reminding me that above all else, I should first seek Him. He is always available and “not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27). He is never on the way out the door, swim team practice, Target or the grocery store. We have a God who craves a relationship with us and desires for us to seek Him daily. This rare gift is beyond our comprehension and understanding most days, but it exists and is very real. Next time you are troubled, have a concern or problem, talk it over with our Lord and Savior first. Seek His counsel, comfort, and direction. Pray that He provides you with a solution or answer in any way He can. He may speak straight to your heart, send a friend or put you in a circumstance that will give you the answer or peace that you need. He doesn’t promise when or how, but He blesses all those who seek Him.

If someone asks him: What are these wounds on your chest?—then he will answer: I received the wounds in the house of my friends. Zechariah 13:6

“Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?” Then they came up, took hold of Jesus, and arrested Him. Matthew 26:50

You are My friends if you do what I command you. John 15:14

Blog Art is provided by my friend and sister in Christ Polly Jo Green.  She is an artist based in Cary, North Carolina. Visit her website at pollyjogreen.com.Her art ranges from doodle creations to mixed media pieces. In addition to commissioned original art, her art is available on notecards.

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