I cherish deeply the God-ordained friendships that I have forged over the years. It’s an essential part of a collective history in God that will always hold a special place in my heart. As I grow older (and hopefully wiser), I’m all the more aware of the value of such God-ordained friendships along the way.
Though some relationships are only divinely intended for a specific season, they still serve a purpose that is critical for the long duration. The Father perfects us into the image of Christ through the imperfections of friendship. Some wince when reading such words. The sharpness of past experiences confirm how certain friendships were like divine flints in the hands of God.
Think back to these dealings of God through friends from a previous season of life. What seems like an insignificant chiseling twenty years ago, in hindsight can be recognized as a significant moment in our lives.
What we could not fully see then due to our imperfections, we can glean now through the Father’s perfecting work of maturity in our lives.
I can point to a handful of such moments from my past. Though these friendships may be in the rearview mirror, we can now freely acknowledge their eternal worth as God used them previously to circumcise our own hearts as sharp flints in His hand. It is necessary to “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Ps. 107:1) as we ponder upon such memories of the past. Now as we have aged well in the grace of God, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). What was once a bitter gall is now a source of praise unto Him as we see more clearly how He redeems even past friendships ordained of heaven to conform us into the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29).
He is good and his steadfast love endures forever.