July 13, 2009
Friends for All Seasons
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Entertainment Editor
I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philippians 1:3 NIV
In different seasons, God brings friends into our lives who may not be in the form, shape or fashion that we expect. But they are always good for us (His definition of “good”) when it is part of His plan.
I am learning so much more from friends who are not my age in this current season of my life. Some are still in their summers and others are faring well in their winters. Those ahead of me are teaching me valuable life lessons. And those trailing a way’s behind are causing me to step up to the plate and be a good example, while also humbling me with questions that many times lead to conviction.
At the beginning of the church in Acts 2 (vv 42-47), I’m sure the friendships amongst believers came in all forms and fashions, too. And the Bible says they had a deep fellowship.
What the passage doesn’t say is that the single people only mingled with the single people. That the young marrieds only spent time with other young marrieds. Or that the families with children only reached out and helped other parents and their kids.
The key point, I think, is that these believers were unified… regardless of their seasons in life. They didn’t let their differences stand between them, and these days that type of unity and connection seems to be rare.
You may find yourself in a similar season of your life where you just aren’t connecting with friends your age—whether at your church or your workplace or elsewhere. May you be encouraged to be bold and cross borders in search of meaningful friendships and connections with believers whether younger or older. Age really is just a number, and the Lord may be leading you to befriend someone who’s not even in your current sphere of influence or peer group.
These types of “unlikely” friendships have challenged and grown me. The Lord has worked through me to reach out to others whose lives may look completely different than mine and vice versa.
This year, the Lord has brought me the friendship of a newlywed couple. They’re in their 40s, and are enjoying this new season of marital bliss. While one might think newlyweds would be only spouse focused, they have reached out to me and have shown that they are interested and care about what God is doing in my life.
They have opened their home, and we have broken bread together. We’ve studied the Word, and we’re praying for one another. A bridge has been built, and a connection has been made.
A few months ago, we even began serving meals together during the dinner shift at a local, inner-city mission. This monthly act of service has not only strengthened our friendship but is also ministering to others who are in need of a hot meal, a smiling face, and a loving Father.
I know that our efforts—and the Spirit working through us—will not only strengthen our friendship and fellowship, but will also help add to our number “those who are being saved.”
Intersecting Faith & Life: What types of “unlikely” friends has God placed in your life? Open your heart and learn from the wisdom and experience of your older friends. Spend time sowing into the lives of those who are younger and look to you as an example.