This past Sunday I met with someone I hadn't seen in nearly 40 years, my sister's best friend . . . from the 6th grade! She and my sister have kept in touch all these years, recently aided by everyone's favorite social media network, Facebook. This story is an example of how God can, and will, use ANYTHING to accomplish His will - even us humans!!
A couple years ago I began seeing posts from my sister's friend, whose name is Susan by the way, in case you were wondering. I noticed that her beliefs were very similar to mine - political, spiritual, etc. I wondered what had made her become a follower of Jesus. A friend request was sent and accepted. Facebook conversations ensued, Christmas cards were exchanged - all at a relatively safe Facebook-ish distance. And that's where our relationship stayed . . . until this past Sunday.
It was definitely a God-thing because I had events scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday. But for "some reason" everyone canceled and my schedule was wide open. I still had no idea what was about to happen.
Sunday morning before church I opened up Facebook and saw a message from my sister's friend Susan. She was going to be in the area and was wondering if I would like to get together to catch up on things. Umm . . . Absolutely!
Later that day, as I was driving to Oshkosh for our meeting, I wondered what God had in store. What would she look like. What would I look like in her eyes? Would she go running from the building, screaming? Probably. But all that's up to God.
When I got to the restaurant I didn't see her at first. However, as the hostess took me to her table, the recognition was immediate, by both of us. We smiled and hugged as if we hadn't seen each other in decades . . . which was absolutely true. We sat down and began to talk and to fill each other in on 40 years of family, events, tragedies, births and deaths - woven together with Bible verses as they came to mind.
We shared both our struggles and our joys. God tells us to ALWAYS encourage each other and we did that. Being those willing vessels, exhorting one another in our faith.
"13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." - Hebrews 3:13
It was an amazing conversation. Before we knew it three hours has passed and it seemed like we were just getting started. I honestly believe we could have talked for at least another three.
I have had other such conversations with other believers - my friend and sister Gayle, my brother-in-law Curt, my brother-in-Christ Ron and my son-in-law Travis, his boss Kathy and now on Sunday with Susan.
It's hard for anyone living in the secular world to understand the special bond that exists between followers of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, we who believe are referred to as brothers and sisters. That is SO true! That's exactly what it feels like! What an incredible gift that is!
Another thing I noticed as we talked was the similarity between our relationship and the relationships many Christians have with Jesus. Prior to Sunday afternoon I had just known ABOUT Susan. I knew WHO she was and WHERE she lived, but I didn't really KNOW her or have a relationship with her beyond Facebook. Our relationship with Jesus really changes when we actually come to know Him and to love Him. That is true of ANY relationship.
I am not sure when I will see Susan again . . . I hope it is soon. But I know that when we DO meet again we will have another amazingly long conversation. In the meantime I am going to think about my relationship with Jesus. When was the last time I had a three-hour conversation with Him? Never. Maybe it's time I did that. After all, isn't the God who brings people together after four decades worth a chat now and then. I think He is. And so we shall. In the meantime . . .
Lord Jesus, I thank you for my friend . . . no, my SISTER, Susan. I thank you for the smiles and the laughter we shared. I thank the Holy Spirit for directing the conversation and I thank God for the gift of family.
And Susan? I thank God for you, for your husband and for your precious daughter. I came away from our conversation on Sunday feeling like I had a new sister. How can I not praise God for a gift like that. Love you!
"50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister" - Matthew 12:50
Believer - Kutless