Sunday, September 5, 2010

When paths cross and diverge

Image copyright Ian Ho 2008
"Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family."
Proverbs 18:24 (Message)

Making good friends is hard, but you know what? The parting after that is even harder. Had to say bye to a good friend who left for studies a few weeks ago, and now after BSLC some of my army friends have parted ways too. And I was just thinking - sometimes our paths cross, sometimes God causes them to diverge. New friends come and old friends go, we embrace new relationships and cry at those who left... and that's the way life works.

But in every season of my life, God never fails to give me a few really good friends that I treasure. It's never the number of friends one has that matters, but who these friends are. I would prefer 5 really really close friends than say 20 "okay" friends. We all start out on our separate path in life, walking our own way, and then at some point we reach junctions where paths cross. And I was thinking of the people that God has placed in my life this season... cos I know it's more than mere coincidence when God causes these paths to cross. I look back and stand in awe at how God brings two paths heading in seemingly different directions and merges them together. Sometimes the people around me are so different from who I am - different backgrounds, personalities, and countries even - but somehow, somehow through the unique course of events in life God causes us to meet. And I constantly ask God why, why He brings these people into my life. There is a purpose, a reason for everything, and sometimes He puts people around us so that we may support them in their walk, or so that they may encourage us in ours. In any case, the very least we could do for these people is to keep them in prayer. The truth is we all can't survive alone, and God never did made us to do that anyway. Although we may not get to see our close friends everyday, prayer bridges that gap. Even when paths diverge and we don't know why, we can still pray for that person and keep him in our thoughts. Prayer is powerful - and that's the least we can do as a believer in a community of believers.

But even as friends come and go, I take comfort in knowing that God's family lasts forever. Our spiritual family, whoever they may be, will continue throughout eternity. And it is much stronger than worldly friendships and even family bonds, because an everlasting God is in the centre of it!

Dear Father, my prayer this season is that you give me more spiritual friends, friends that will stick alongside me like family, because I can't walk alone and I never want to. And to those you've placed around me, I ask that you give me the courage and strength to support them in whatever way I can, because that's what friends are for..

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