As an introvert, I have friends and then I have friends, and I’m always amazed at how the Lord provides those friends to pour into my life at just the right time. This is what I’ve experienced in the past weeks, and I’m grateful to his provision.
I have decided that being involved in overseas ministry is a lot like the military. We may not be fighting physical battles, but we are definitely fighting spiritual ones, and when you’re side-by-side in service, those battles build bonds. We may be serving with people who are different from us, come from completely different backgrounds and face ministry in different ways, but there is a common life experience that gives them an understanding of us unlike others in our life.
A few weeks ago, one of these battle-worn comrades texted me to see if she could visit for a couple of days after attending a meeting in the area. I was thrilled to be able to see her, catch up and just talk — and that’s what we did. Talk — no TV, no media interference, just two friends talking and listening, listening and talking.
Knowing each other, we were able to speak into each other’s life at this particular stage of the journey. I was happy to give. I was happy to receive. I was encouraged.
I had a two-day break before my second friend arrived, again after a text asking to make a stop at my house for a few days while she traveled with her girls to another state. She asked how I was — really was, and then listened as I shared my heart. I listened to what the Lord had been doing in her life. Having been separated for over a decade, we just picked up where we left off. Her journey has not always been easy, but God has been faithful.
My introverted side should be exhausted, as I haven’t talked this much in a long time, but I find myself energized and what? Oh, yes, encouraged. Encouraged by friends, long-loved, long-missed, coming back into my life in the same week. I’m encouraged because I know there are no surprises in God’s timing. He brought them here for a reason. I may not yet know the full reason why, but as I reflect and wait, I thank him for the short reason — I needed a friend, and he gave me two!
When you’re weary and feeling low — call on your friend, and see what God will do.
Grace and Peace