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Seeds of the Kingdom

Friendships

by Beryl Puffett

22 February 2011

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There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24b, NIV

While we were having a coffee and talking about friendships my friend and I made some interesting observations. Before we were saved we had mutual friends who enjoyed having parties and social events. Some became friends after we met them at school events, and their children were friends of our children. Some were work colleagues who became our friends. There were dear friends of the family and friends of friends. Many had worldly values and having fun together was what it was all about.

Once we met Jesus - so much changed. My friend said she actually lost all her worldly friends and felt quite alone and isolated, until the Lord started adding very valuable friends to her life - friends who were prepared to walk the difficult road of tragedy with her - friends who loved her when she was not the nicest person around - friends who helped her to grow in Christ – (one who became a treasured prayer partner on a weekly basis) - older women who shared their wisdom with her and encouraged her during the difficult times with her children. And then she mentioned our spouses that were given to us to be friends forever.

It makes me think of Jesus! He had very special friends too! ‘And walking by the Sea of Galilee He saw two brothers Simon, who was called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea because they were fishermen. And He said to them ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men’ (Matthew 4:18). And they became His close friends. It makes me wonder how much we treasure the friendships that we have. Did they happen by coincidence? Or were they God ordained?

We have a special and unusual friendship in our family. My mum’s mother had a best friend. They were there for each other through two world wars. Both of them had daughters - my mum and her daughter, who became best friends and lived together while their husbands went to war. They also had daughters - my friend and I. Then we had a daughters too, who are close friends today. Four generations of close friendships. God puts people across our path during our lives on earth and He creates friendships that will encourage and nurture us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for being my friend and for teaching me about precious friendships in my life. Help me, Lord, not to take them for granted, but to nurture them and appreciate them as much as You do. Thank You for blessing me with wonderful friends who have had such a great impact in my life. Help me, Lord, to be a good friend in all circumstances, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Beryl Puffett is the Co-founder and Deputy Director of Ellel Ministries Africa. She is married to Derek who is part of the Executive Leadership of Ellel Ministries. She has two children and 5 grandchildren, one recently married.

 

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