Something has been filling my heart with fresh dose of joy and inspiration lately. Something that is quite new to me and I’m revelling in its warmth. It seems like my heart has expanded and become full. Doesn’t love do all that?
I am only now rediscovering the joy real friendship brings. Before my life with the Lord Jesus Christ, I didn’t know how to keep a friend. I did all the wrong things, I guess, so that there were really just a few friendships that I was able to keep all these years. And I believe, that is because they insisted on sticking with me. I can’t begin to explain why I wasn’t the kind of person who saw friendship a necessity and something to cherish. But if I didn’t make my own family a priority before, I believe that would also explain why friendships didn’t top my list either. You could say that relationships in general didn’t top my priorities before. But my career did.
But that was all before I gave my life to Christ. Then everything changed. For love is what matters most to Him. “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself'” (Gal. 5:14). For all the things we do on earth then, only those that have eternal weight and rewards are precious in His sight. For faith, hope and love shall remain; but the greatest of these is love (1 Cor. 134:13).
The Lord has been so gracious to bring me to that place where I no longer think only of my own and family’s welfare, but also of others’, especially when it comes to their spiritual need. The love of Christ that is in us does that: expanding us and our territory so that His love, mercy and grace will spread to others, too. This expanding of one’s territory does not only mean geographically, but more 0f expanding one’s love. Now, ain’t that a great thing?
So, the Lord has expanded mine and I’ve been forging friendships lately – reviving the old ones and deepening the new. And I don’t even need to go out or travel. I’ve only discovered now that making friendships through the love of Christ that is in us brings us a fuller life. And by the word fuller I mean life is richer and happier, like there’s a spring in your steps, your heart sings of a sweet melody, and love is just more real and tangible.
The things that used to destroy friendships like a canker – pride, insecurities, self-sufficiency, self-centredness, fear, self-serving motives, fear, competition, envy, feelings of unworthiness, inadequacies, uncertainties – are gone in the presence of the Spirit of Christ who dwells in one’s heart. The love of Christ that is extended through friendships —
– makes one confident as well as humble
– honest, without hypocrisy, and brave enough to speak the truth in love
– truly caring and careful not to push oneself
– thinks not only of one’s own good but also of the other’s
– fervently sharing the truth of the Gospel of salvation, yet honoring the other’s pace
– earnest and unrelenting in prayer for the other; carrying the other’s burden by bringing it to God in prayer
– unafraid of failure or of being hurt for the Lord is the shield and guide
My gratitude list ~ the gifts I received from the hand of the Lord:
- finishing 8 days of half-day fasting
- reconnecting with former classmates and sharing with them the true Gospel of salvation
- the victorious 5th anniversary celebration of JMCIM-Dubai Outreach; the fervent love of the brethren there that blesses, though faced with many challenges in a Muslim land
- my beloved mother sending me huge lobsters from the province; she doesn’t forget my all-time favourite foods
- Hearing Tim say, “I’m so happy, Mom” as we made his favourite doughnuts; these crispy and creamy doughnuts – yum!
- homemade ice cream using local and seasonal ingredients
- His faithfulness and His sweet, holy presence that He never withholds in soul-deep worship
I’m linking up with other blogs, please check the list at the side bar.