November 23, 2014

Enjoying the Blessings of Friendship

Today is a good Sunday! I am home (missing Church) so that I can work on finishing up my critical paper (due now on Monday at midnight). I don't normally like to miss church because I feel like I need it to refresh my weary soul, and I find church especially fulfilling when worshiping with others (in praise and in prayer). But today, I am pushed to the wall (lately that is my motto) to finish my research project so I can end this nightmare of a semester (he he he -- as I recall -- I said that about the Spring and Summer semester too!) The Lord is good to me, so very good to me. He knows me so well, and He provides for my every need. I am resting in His provision of care today, knowing that His will is being done in and through my life, and that part of His will includes my studies at Regent University. I rest and I let Him guide and lead me through this paper and all the other assignments I must complete before the semester closes on December 14. God is good, so very good. He is good all the time, and all the time He is good!

As I prepare to write my paper (and I have to write a significant portion today) today, I find that I am struggling to focus, struggling to "get down to business," and struggling to not waste time today. It is not uncommon for me to feel this way. In fact, I would say that of all my recent projects -- not one was planned, was purposed, and was pulled off according to my timing or my schedule. No, I did plan, and I did prepare, but what happened (as it seems to every time now) is that I ended up at the end of my budgeted time with all effort failing me. I finished each paper, thank goodness, but not on my own at all. No, the Lord showed up and He inspired me, guided me, and helped me complete the work on time (and with great success). The Lord is good, so very good to me.

So, why then I am here blogging when I should be writing my paper? Good question! Actually blogging is part of the prep work -- free writing of sorts -- to get me into the writing mode. The Lord knows that some times I need to free write before I can start to do my best writing. So blogging is my preferred choice for free writing and it does help me prepare my head and my fingers for writing my papers.

I titled this free writing blogpost "Enjoying the Blessings of Friendship" because I wanted to give a shout out to my friend, Ken, who has been a constant companion to me this semester and who has been very encouraging to me, especially when I felt that I was so stressed over my assignments. The Lord has brought me a good friend, a special friend, someone who shares my love of so many things, and who is always there to make me laugh (when I need it). I thank the Lord today for the blessing of friendship because sometimes it is so difficult to walk alone, so difficult to carry the burden of "life" on your own. Yes, I know that the Lord is there to carry us along, and often He does just that -- He lifts us up and He carries us. However, the Lord knows that we need friends to walk with us, physically, and He brings special people into our lives as blessings from His Merciful Hand of Care. These people are really more than friends -- they are closer than a friend -- because they love us even when we don't feel very loveable. The accept us as we are and they understand our foiables (and our failings). They stand with us and hold us accountable to whatever responsibilities we have and they don't judge us when we goof up. They just love us where we are at -- in the moment -- and to me, that is just about the best thing possible.

Proverbs 17:17 (MSG) says,

Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

I am so thankful for the friends the Lord has brought into my life. Many have come and gone, but many have stayed the course with me. I love these friends, and I cherish them because they are unique and wonderfully made by God. Each one has a special ability that brings blessing into my life, and each one loves me as I am. My prayer today is to remember the value of good friends. May I be the kind of friend that stays the course, walks along side and helps to carry that heavy burden (if only for a little while or for a lifetime).

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