A Friend for All Seasons

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

(1 John 4:11 NIV)

Have you ever been reunited with a friend after a long time and found you could pick up your conversation right where you left off? Even if many years have separated your paths, isn’t it amazing to reconnect as if no time has passed at all?A Friend for All Seasons

One friend, etched in my memory, is Sara. We were best pals, along with Maria, back in our elementary years. Our families were lightyears different, but our experiences together left forever lessons in my soul. Looking back now I feel our hearts have always been joined together just as the back corner of our fenced yards shared a common binding.

I’ve thought of Sara often in recent months. We were so carefree back then; singing and dancing without a care for what anyone thought. These are the memories which have caused me to run to Jesus recently asking Him what happened to my freedom to laugh big and sing loud. When did I become so inhibited?

Then one day out of the blue I had a message from… Sara. We chatted online back and forth for several days. I started a memory. She finished it. Where I had blanks she filled in the details.  Hopefully, we’ll locate the picture of us dressed in short shorts, fringed vests, headbands and go-go boots! (Thank you, Nancy Sinatra, and your boots made for walkin’)1 John 4.11 girls

Finally, last week I heard Sara’s voice after forty-three years. What a thrill! It’s occurred to me since Jesus feels the same about us. He’d love for us to stay in touch throughout every single day. Once a week is OK. Are you wondering if a whole year has really gone by without conversing with Him?

No matter the time in between chats, Jesus misses us because He loves us. He knows us so well. Jesus is calling us by name. (Isaiah 43:1, ESV) Will we take His call? Fortunately, the moment we reconnect with Him we can pick right back up where we left off. And don’t worry about the memories, He can fill in every detail! (Jeremiah 29:12-13, 33:3, NIV)

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I have the honor and privilege of writing weekly devotionals for Daughter of Delight on Instagram.  This post with some slight variation was first posted as an original devotional for Daughter of Delight on Instagram – 2/17/2018.

I invite you to please take a moment to visit @daughterofdelight on Instagram.  I feel certain you’ll be encouraged and refreshed!

Eyes on Jesus… you’re shining!

~Lisa

Day 23: Is my life’s {work} defined by what I do or whom I serve?

Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel.  May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.”  Ruth 4:11-12

{work}

Work is a hard word at our house these days.  Every time my husband and I meet someone for the first time, he is asked, “So, what do you do?”  It’s a question which produces more angst, frustration, and sadness than I can bear to watch.  work

My husband struggles with how best to answer the question.  Should he say he’s retired or should he say he’s in between opportunities?  Should he open up the vulnerable place of stating his desire for another opportunity to work in his career field?  All the answers lead to more questions and ultimately reveal the length of time we’ve waited in this particular famine season.

We’re not farmers, but reading through the book of Ruth in this dry season on our journey, we have a new perspective on work – or the lack of it.  We have a new appreciation for the man or woman who desires to produce for their family, has the knowledge and skill, but at every turn finds the doors are closed.

The current work drought for my man feels much like the farmers’ in the time of the Judges who had land, seed, skill, and knowledge to grow crops in their fields, and yet they could not control the weather.  For all their effort, working hard to bring a harvest, the stuff of life beyond their control overwhelmed and a famine season was the result.

What {work} do you do?  It’s a question through which the core of our identity is revealed.  The question and the feelings it provokes for the positive or the negative can be a false sense of identity unless we are securely rooted in Whom we serve.

May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give

I love this blessing on Boaz from his neighbors, friends, and family in Bethlehem.  Though Boaz most certainly was a landowner, a farmer and it seems clearly a man of good reputation and high status in the community, he was blessed to build a home and to bear offspring to bring glory and honor to the Lord God Almighty.  31 days gleaning bushel of wheat

I wonder when I am able to ask Boaz, “So what did you do for work back in Bethlehem?” what his answer will be.  Somehow I believe knowing he acted honorably as a kinsman redeemer, married Ruth and became the father of Obed and eventually the great-grandfather of King David all greatly overwhelmed the satisfaction received from working his job.  Maybe?  I look forward to asking Boaz this question.

 

Ponders:

  • This is my ponder today…  Is my life’s {work} defined by what I do or whom I serve?
  • Chewing on this Scripture from Colossians, I’m asking…
    • Lord Jesus, what do You want me to know about my life’s work?
    • How do You see me in my life’s work?
    • Will You teach me how to best honor You and serve You in my life’s work?
    • How do You want to shape my identity as a Christ follower through the work I do?  Would it change my perspective if I recognized my true calling is an Ambassador for You no matter the daily grind of my day to day activities?
  • How might I pray this prayer for my husband and others who are in a famine season of their life’s work?

we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;  Colossians 1:9-11 esv