Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thoughts on Autumn, Friendships and Courage

The last quintessentially autumn days are becoming more and more sparse as November begins. 

I was thrilled just the other day to be able to snag just one more supper out on the new porch.  What an unexpected treat!  As I write, the girlies are outside, playing with their rabbits, riding bikes and undoubtedly scheming something.  The warm temps make their hearts go pitter-patter. 

Also, the warm temps have made pleasant days for gym class at the local parks.  I've enjoyed checking out the tennis and volleyball courts at various locations around our small town.  While one of our fantastic moms has spear-headed gym class, it's been super satisfying to sit down and have meaningful conversations with my own friends.  The conversations are always thought-provoking and encouraging.  I realize this:

True fellowship is invaluable. 

It's becoming obvious to me that God uses people to speak to me in palpable ways.  Things He wants me to learn sometimes hover a bit in my peripheral vision until some friend says that one word, so fitly spoken,

It's golden. 
(Proverbs 25:11)

Then, it comes into focus.

That's what I desire ~ cut the fluff...

I want real. 

Real relationships that are more than a passing conversation. 

Real friendships that make me want to love God more, more, more every day. 

Real bonds that go past surface niceties. 

Real conversations where there's constant giving and receiving ~ encouragement and exhortation to keep running this race.

I'm finding those things in places I never expected.  You really can't limit where you find fellowship.

God can forge friendships through the most unique divine appointments.  Several years ago, I brashly knocked on a door to find out if the basketball hoop near the side of the road was free.  It wasn't.  I survived my embarrassment and discovered like precious faith in the woman who answered the door.  It was the beginning of iron sharpening iron.  We laugh now over the beginning of our friendship.

Perhaps you've limited yourself to only the friendships of those you meet in the foyer.  Maybe you're frustrated by conversations that never go past the weather.  Maybe your circles haven't grown in a decade or so, now resembling stale bread, rather than the life-giving, iron-sharpening relationships God intended.  I'm learning not to be discouraged by any of those things.  Our God is capable of astounding divine appointments, leading me to forge and foster friendships that glorify Him. 

I continue to reach out in the love of Christ, but others must reach back.  My job is to love.  My job is to pray.  My job is to listen intently.  My job is to care.  My job is to be Jesus to whomever I meet.

Today, reach out and when someone reaches out to you, reach back.