Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
~Colossians 3:12 NIV
Occasionally I’d visit a pet store where my husband worked. The store owner was nice but his wife Glen? I found her a bit . . . odd. We would speak a few sentences to each other, and she’d usually go on her way, in mid-conversation.
They stopped by our house one day, which was something they’ve never done before. The two men took a walk and by default I kept the Mrs. company. The situation made me uncomfortable. After a few minutes of small talk, she told me why they had stopped by. Her husband had cancer. It broke my heart as I watched the tears falling down her cheeks. Her husband’s cancer was fast spreading and within a year, he passed away.
After that, Glen kept asking my husband to bring me with him to the store. At first, I was reluctant because I barely knew her, but I figured she needed female companionship. She made efforts to talk to me and I took the opportunity to ask her if she believed in Jesus. When her husband was alive, she had no desire to seek Jesus or religion. But now, on her own, she wanted to learn more about Him. I invited her to church, and she accepted. Within a few short weeks, we had become friends.
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Glen called me one morning, crying. She too had been diagnosed with cancer. Scared and with no one to turn to, I became her caregiver. I knew it’s what God wanted me to do. Since Glen didn’t drive, I took her to doctor and chemo appointments, and picked up her medications.
Within three years, my new-found friend had lost her husband, had surgery, suffered a stroke, lost her business, and then her home. Sick and having nowhere else to go, Social Services got her into a nursing home. She took what few belongings could fit in her tiny room and settled in.
In her last days, she was adamant about reading the Bible with me. We spent our afternoons reading and discussing Scriptures, talking about eternity, and enjoying fellowship. After finishing our Bible studies, she always told me, “God has a plan for me.” I’d smile, but when I when I got to my car, I’d cry. I was determined to make her as happy as I could. We were the typical odd couple, but by God’s divine intervention, He had brought us together, not only to be friends, but to learn from each other.
We were the typical odd couple, but by God’s divine intervention, He had brought us together.
Caring for Glen showed me the life-lesson of bravery. She had gone from being a successful businesswoman and homeowner, to losing everything and owning nothing, yet she continued to learn and grow. During all the trials she faced, not once did she complain. Not once did she blame anyone, and especially not God. She found comfort in God’s Son Jesus and the love He had for her.
Before Glen died, she witnessed her brother put his faith in Jesus Christ, and she joyfully witnessed his baptism. He had decided to make a decision for Christ because he heard us talking about the Lord. I believe God’s plan for her life was to be a brave witness of unswerving faith to her brother.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
~Romans 10:17 NKJV
Faith and friendships came by hearing the Word of God. Even through trials, and through hardships I have no explanation for, God still worked His best by saving souls. Had it not been for the odd friendship He designed by putting Glen and I together, we would not have seen His work of salvation for Glen, and for her brother.
What friend has God put in your life that at first felt like an odd match? How have you learned to trust God’s leading because of this?
Jesus, You created us for fellowship—to have and to be a friend. Thank You for putting people in my life You want me to be a friend to. Help me to put aside any judgmental thoughts and to accept others for who You created them to be. Help me to share biblical values with every friendship You ordain for me to have in my life. Amen.
Copyright 2020: The Reward of Friendship: Author Sandra Stein: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Sandra Stein is a contributing author to two devotional books; Take My Heart O God and Heaven Calling, both published by Zondervan. She has published articles including publications in Vista Magazine by Wesleyan Publishing and Victory in Grace Magazine. She is a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships.
Sandra’s current work-in-progress is a victim to victory true story entitled, Emotionally Uphill. Having been subject to abuse both inside and outside of her home, Sandra felt she had no safe place—that is, until she met Jesus, the Lover of her soul. This book intends to help the reader overcome trauma as Sandra did, by clinging to the One who loves with an everlasting and divine love—Jesus Christ.
With her experience as a dog trainer, and with horses, she has a vision for combining her love of animals with her passion to help people. Sandra’s heart’s desire is to open a ranch to people who have been bullied or abused, to provide them a place to belong. She envisions emotional and spiritual healings happening through the gentle interaction animals can provide.
CONNECT WITH SANDRA STEIN AT:
(to be added)