Wednesday night I had dinner with a good friend of mine. I hadn't seen my friend for several months and it was good to see him and hear his stories of how God is working in his life.
His story actually started a few months ago when I heard that he had lost his job. That loss for my brother-in-Christ resonated with me. A handful of years before, the same thing had happened to me. That's the reason I had wanted to get together with my friend. To reassure him that God is in control, God saw ME through, He will do the same for you.
There is much that goes through the mind of a man when life-changing things like that happen. Sudden events, out of our control for the most part, it is difficult to rationalize and make adjustments on the fly. Yet we do. And we grow as a result of them.
I am reading through the Book of Ruth right now. What an amazing story of faith, family, redemption and God's provision and sovereignty. Read it. It's only four chapters.
The Book of Ruth
In chapter one we learn of Ruth's devotion to her mother-in-law Naomi. Devotion to family. In chapter two we meet Boaz, a relative of Naomi's dead husband - her kinsman redeemer. Basically, He was Naomi's relative and she was in trouble so he came to her rescue. A wonderful foretaste of Jesus and what He did for us on the cross . . . but back to the story about my friend.
As we ate our food the other night, my friend told me about the interview process he had for his new job. It was very typical of how God works. The company he applied at wasn't hiring, yet they hired my friend. The interviewer spoke of a spiritual need in his company. My friend was created to do the very thing that his new employer needed - to share the love of Christ and His message to those who are in need. God is using my friend, a willing participant, to reach people with the Gospel.
I'm sure there were nervous moments for my friend and his wife, just like their were for me and my wife when the same thing happened to me. But there is great comfort to be found in the Book of Ruth, where we can see how God orchestrates and conducts this amazing symphony called life. There is also great comfort in looking back at things from where God has placed us - to see all of the steps He had us take along the way.
Yesterday morning as I was getting ready for church, I grabbed my belt and began to thread it through the loops on my pants. These verses came to mind and I thought about my friend. Read it as a prayer. A prayer for my brother-in-arms.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints - 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." - Ephesians 6:14-20
We are all soldiers in God's army. Our battle is "not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). And "if God is for us, who can be against us." (Romans 8:31)
Love you, my brother. It is a pleasure serving along side you.
"Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battle raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms" - Dire Straits
Brothers In Arms - Mark Knopfler
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