What an odd title for a devotion but today I had a great revelation. Yesterday I made a new friend. Good friends are hard to find. I always say if you want to be a friend show yourself friendly. I have had some 'friend issues' in the past couple years that have been extremely hurtful and 3 close friends have also moved away as well, so to have someone who wants to hang out with me is really cool. The way it happened is a 'God thing' as I call them. Back on 4th of July at a friends home I had the misfortune of bumping my little toe into a metal deck chair. I am quite an active person and nicknamed affectionately the 'energizer bunny' by some so for this to happen slowed me down. At first I thought it was just bruised but it turned out it was fractured 'aka' broken. The only way to mend something like this is to buddy tape it to toe next to it and try to stay off of it as much as possible. There goes my exercise routine of running, biking, elliptical trainers and hiking. I had been a swimmer in the past so a friend suggested I join her for water aerobics at the Army post outdoor pool. I tried this but there was too much of an impact on my injured toe so I decided to come each day and lap swim instead, something which I had not done in sevreal years. I began lap swimming as no other choice of exercise so as to stay in shape. I met a girl who faithfully swims who has only been in the area for about 2 years. After talking I found out she too like me in the past was rather 'shell shocked' still from missing the big mountains of Washington State where she came from. Tell me about it. I missed the big mountains of Arizona too and big city when I first arrived. My Moms in Touch prayer group can attest to the fact it took me a while to warm up to living in Madison County, Alabama. So here is this new friend and we have so much in common. Had I not injured my toe that day I would have never had a reason to go to the swimming pool and would have missed meeting her and missed out on a good friend.God works in great ways huh?
When I first moved to Madison I had two God thing moments the first few weeks that produced two dear friends who now moved away but I have been able to see due to my flying privileges still. They both know the stories there. I am not saying all my friends are not 'God things' because they are but I am only recounting these miracle type things where you 'just happened' to do something and 'poof' there they were. No coincidences in God's world.
I met a few of my closest and dearest friends in Arizona in 'God thing' ways too. When our youngest son had to be on a waiting list for playing ice hockey he was forced to have to play 'In line hockey' while he waited. I remember complaining to myself. There at the in line rink in Tempe, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, we met two families who we later spent holiday meals with and are great friends to this day. Even our friends the Leonard's know the long drawn out 'God thing' story of how we met them thanks to the idea of an Iowa friend Kim before we moved to Arizona. It would take another chapter to go through that but I am sure they remember.
You can probably look back in your life and things you did not like at the time, be it a job change, a move, a new school that later turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. I am thankful my sons fiancee transferred to the college he was at to go into nursing or they may not have met. You see what I mean. God is good isn't He?
You may have gone through some hurtful friend things like I mentioned I had and they are horrible and painful but be thankful for those dear friends in your life who you do have. Another one of my newest blessings as a friend is my son's fiance's mom. We get along so well and I too and thankful for that as many do not get along with in-laws. Not a problem with us and an answer to twenty seven years of prayer.
So you see count your blessings and friends are one of the biggest. I know my mom says as you get older you do not have as many friends as all your friends die off. I would encourage people of any age to go out and get involved in the community. Volunteer or attend a Bible study. There are people out there lonely just waiting for a friend. If you want have a friend you must show yourself friendly. I did this week and it paid off in a big way with a new buddy. A place with lots of lonely folks is usually in a nursing home. Some of the people there can not communicate well but others would love to just play scrabble.
Proverbs 18:24 says "There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother." The Bible has lots to say about friendships. Proverbs 27:10 says "Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you--better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away." Proverbs 18:19 says "An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars." This one hits home for me. You would think as a Christian you could just say 'hey I am sorry I did such and such and I did not know it hurt you" and then get on with life and live out your life showing love like Christ commands. But the Lord has to deal with the offended persons heart. If you have never experienced it, believe me it hurts.
I am blessed with an abundance of friends, not saying that to brag. The reason is in our travels as a military family I have had the privilege to have close friends in each base, post, city or town usually through Bible studies such as Officers Christian Fellowship , chapel or church and these friends become like your family since as a military person you bounce all over the place. These friends were true friends.One such friend and Air Force wife Anne I met at the OB doctor when our first children were being born and we are still close today.
Today in our Facebook generation some friends are superficial acquaintances. We go to Facebook to peer into others lives but if they are local do we take the time to call them up and go for coffee. Just something to think about. You have to be more than someone who is on Facebook to have a true friendship. Sure Facebook is a good tool but get off the computer and get involved in someones life.
I challenge you to be that friend today. Also in the course of your day you can bring cheer to someone simply sometimes by speaking to them or smiling. Try it sometime. My day today after writing and posting this blog will be picking blueberries with a friend. Have a good day no matter what you do.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus one of the best gifts is that of a friend. I love all my friends even those not mentioned directly in this devotion. I thank you for friends to share life with. I even thank you for the hurtful times some friends have inflicted on me since it taught me how to move on and appreciate what I had. Help me Lord to be a friend to the friendless. In Jesus Name. Amen.