We are always encouraged to hear from fellow believers who are seeking to live out their faith. Here is a guest post showing how God supplies friends… for our encouragement and ministry!
When my husband and I made a significant move from one state to another we went with the confidence of the Lord’s leading and direction. But as we prepared for the move I had a concern. A huge concern. How could I leave my dearest friends, made over 40+ years, and start all over again? So the women in Bible study bathed this concern in prayer, and at the going away party they threw for us I said, “I will never forget you. You are ‘forever friends’, and can never be replaced. However, I’m confident God will provide new friends, simply adding to my list of forever friends.”
We moved to our new state and town, and into a rental house while beginning to build a new house. A month after moving I was cleaning house when the thought suddenly struck me, I don’t have a single friend yet. We were still visiting various churches so hadn’t had a chance to make friends there. The tendency was to wonder why the Lord was taking His sweet ol’ time to answer all the prayers, but then my next thought was, You’ll just have to make the first step toward friendships. That was bit terrifying as the neighbors seemed somewhat aloof. How could I break down the barriers?
One day one of the neighbors was out in the yard so I ventured over to meet her. She was lovely, so a flicker of hope ignited that we might become friends. A few days later one of the neighbor men walked past while we were working in the garage, so we waved him over. After exchanging pleasantries we learned that he and my husband have a mutual acquaintance dating back years and years. And years. What was the “coincidence” of that? None. It was a God thing. Joyfully I asked, “God, are You up to something?”
A few days later the neighbor lady I’d met texted asking if we were available Friday night for a neighborhood get-together. It turned out that three of our neighbors (three couples) wanted to get acquainted with us and the get-together was in our honor. During that enjoyable evening it was decided we’d continue this on a monthly basis, each month going to a different home. We were able to host the August get-together and made homemade ice cream while the others brought toppings. What a fun time!! As we said, “Goodnight,” and left last month’s get-together the hostess ran out the door after me, hugged me and said, “You’re such a nice person. I love you.” Each month that the neighbors get together someone says to us, “You’re not allowed to move into your new home. We want to keep you as our neighbors.”
I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 2:15 where the apostle Paul writes, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” (NIV) I want to be an aroma of Christ to my neighbors.
A few weeks back a neighbor rang our doorbell, and I could immediately tell that something was wrong. As we sat on the couch together she sobbed out her story, and I prayed for wisdom. I had to wonder why had she come to our house instead of to one of the other neighbors. Lord, was it your fragrance to which she was attracted?
We’re now getting involved at a wonderful church. Recently our pastor said that to him his dad had been Jesus with skin on. My prayer is that I will be Jesus with skin on to my neighbors. Not only has God answered my prayers for new friends, He’s giving them to me in spades.
This is a good time to be reminded of the S.A.N.T.A. approach to making a friend, especially of another culture.