“No longer do I call you servants for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from MY Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask my Father in my name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:15
Jesus wanted the disciples to know that they were considered His friends and not His servants. Jesus encouraged the disciples to go and love one another. In other words, go out not just make disciples to go out and make friends. He wanted them to demonstrate the most wonderful love that connects each one of us to one another and that is the love of our Heavenly Father.
Over the years, I have been blessed with many friendships and acquaintances. Each and every encounter of every person placed in my life has made some sort of mark on my life for the better. Whether it was for a few days I knew the person, a few minutes while standing in line or for many years, each friend/person that has crossed my path has been a part of God’s molding me into His likeness.
Since signing up for Facebook a few years ago, there have been friendships that have re-emerged from my past. I am so thankful for those friendships then and for them now. These are the types of friendships where you pick up like you were talking a few minutes ago and carry on but we haven’t seen or heard from the other in years. These friendships of the past are a big part of who I am today. These renewed friendships are now making new marks on my life that are wonderful blessings. There are days when I wish I could reach through my computer and give each one a hug.
Along with renewed friendships, I have made new friends even through Facebook and through my blog writing. On Facebook, it the connections of people. Someone I know has put me in touch with someone they know that I have something in common with. In making that connection, I have learned new things and discovered more about who I am. Again, God using friendships in His molding me into His likeness.
In my blog writing, I have made friends who have the same interest of writing topics. They are writers who are also passionate about getting the Good News out and in encouraging others. Many times we will comment on each other’s blogs or send a tweet of “hello, how are you this week?”. Then there are times where we will have prayer concerns that we will share with one another and we know that we can count on each other to pray. In the virtual world, we are friends that can sit down at our computer and have a cup of coffee with each other and catch up on thoughts, insights and sometimes a laugh or two.
There are friendships that I have in my small groups within my church and community. These are the ones you see at least once a week to connect, to be accountable and to encourage one another through the daily challenges that the world brings into our world. They are the ones you call up and say; “I need to talk. Can we meet for coffee or lunch?” These are the friends that are close by and within a reach of a hug.
Believe it or not there are the quick friendships. The friendships that are made while standing in line. The little old lady in front of me in the grocery with a wonderful sense of humor. Being stressed, tired and on a deadline to get things done, I end up behind her and she makes me laugh until I am crying. God knew that I needed a little humor to lighten my load for the remainder of the day.
The friendships of that homeless person I pass on the streets of Chicago that says; “God Bless You” when he has nothing to offer and I haven’t given him a cent. He still offers God’s blessing on me and smiles. The blessing and smile make me realize to appreciate the smallest things in life like a smile and a blessing from a stranger.
The friendship of the UPS guy in the lane beside us. It is a summer day and we are driving on vacation with the top down on the convertible. We get stuck in the left lane. Jim and I becoming frustrated in wondering what the hold up is ahead. The UPS guy in the lane beside us yells down at us and tells us what is up and says he will let us over to get away from the hold up. Again, a smile from God letting us know He is looking out for us. Also, a gentle reminder that there are still good people in this world.
Oh, my list could go on and on of brief encounters and long friendships that have made and who are making me who I am. As I write this very post, I smile because I feel the warmth of each and every encounter in my heart and the blessings each one has brought me. All of these encounters are the wonderful examples of living out the words that Jesus told His disciples; LOVE one another.”
You may ask if there have been negative encounters in my life. My answer to that is “yes” but even in those negative encounters I learned from them and they also had a part of my molding me into His likeness. God uses every encounter and person in our life to mold us into His likeness. It is these situations that pushes us on into that perfection that we will one day receive.
Friendships are the leaves that grow out from our family tree. Today, I ask you to ” remember where we met….you are the leaves of my family tree.” To all those who are reading this post, it is my pleasure to call you, FRIEND.
- Friends (sjbrown58.wordpress.com)
- Brotherly Love (lifereference.wordpress.com)
- You’ve Got a Friend – So be Sure to Tell Them That (mangosalute.com)