Thirty years ago, God took my family on the beginning of our faith journey. We collectively decided we wanted to find a church that would foster a personal relationship with God. We didn't want a church to merely attend on Sundays or to say prayers by rote. We wanted a faith that was alive every day. What we found was a church nestled in the middle of the country fields and a babbling stream where God became real, relationships were built, and we learned how to praise and worship. It is the church where I learned all of the old hymns and praise choruses that I now sing with my son. It is the church where I learned to serve Christ, where I accepted Christ as Savior and was baptized by submersion. It is the church where some of my closest friendships were formed.
Friends of the heart truly do make the journey better. I have been having an extremely difficult week. I'm an extreme medical mess again without any answers on the horizon. The level of stress in our house is ready to boil over. My strength is gone. My faith is intact but I need a power boost. What do you do when life is difficult? Me, I call, text, or email my wise owls, my go-to people, my dearest friends. One of these friends has been in my life for the past thirty years since we met at that country church. She affectionately calls me her Red Hot Mess. Although she lives in Texas and I live in Pennsylvania, we know that the other will always be there. We are sisters of the heart brought together by our faith and God's love. I have another friend who lives in Tennessee. We don't talk every day but God knew we were kindred spirits and brought us together. We are both single moms raising special boys. We both live with daily pain from chronic illness. She loves my aunt's gelato and I just love my aunt. We know that the other will always be there. When I am in need of prayer or feeling overwhelmed by life, I reach out to these two lovely ladies.
About ten years ago, God graced me with the gift of an older half-brother. I won the lottery when he came into my life. Now only had God heard the prayers of a little girl years before she was even born and uttered the words but He had given me a brother who loves Him and serves Him as well as a wonderful sister-in-law who has a beautiful spirit that lives for Christ and a precious nephew and niece. Wow! My sister-in-law has become a source of comfort and joy and another person I can turn to for prayer. Blessings!
No discussion on fellowship and prayer would be complete without mentioning my Messianic Jewish sister. This dear woman will literally knock on Heaven's door on my behalf asking God to hear our cries. I love her for it! I know that if I have a need she will be fervently praying, interceding on my behalf. I think praying for others, interceding on their behalf, is one of the greatest gifts we can give to them. Most often, it is a gift they may never even know about but the benefits can be eternally gratifying. When we heed the Holy Spirit's tug upon our hearts, God is able to work in and through us because we are being obedient. We are showing our love for Him and for our brothers and sisters in Christ. That is the main purpose for which God created us: to have a loving relationship with Him and with each other.
Let us fellowship, one with another, and with God. Let us build each other up with encouragement and through prayer and intercession. Let us be there for one another during tough times and to celebrate the good times.
Father God, We praise you for the gifts of friends and Christian fellowship. We thank you for the opportunity to come to you any time in prayer not only for ourselves but also for our friends and loved ones. Father God, be our Guide. Grant us Your wisdom and discernment as we serve you today and always. Be our strength, especially when we are weak. Let Your light and love shine through us and in us. In Jesus's Name, Amen!