I recall the beginning of the first day in that new home as though it were yesterday. On that gorgeous fall day, I had no idea that a new chapter of my life was opening and would become one of my favourites. Knowing how isolating relocation can be, my husband, three-year-old son, and I were thrilled when our new next-door neighbours came over to welcome us into the neighbourhood. They were an answer to our prayers, and in no time at all, they took all three of us under their wings. Effie and Charlie’s example of godly living was contagious. Like Jesus, we found them to be “gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29 NIV), obedient and submissive to the will of God. Surely, this is what Christians are called to strive for.
In friendship, we think we have chosen our peers. … But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Friendship is not a reward for our discernment and good taste in finding one another. It is the instrument by which God reveals to us the beautiful qualities of others.
Our new friends had an abundance of beautiful qualities, one being that after years of marriage, they remained best friends. And it’s no wonder! When Charlie was not teasing his wife, it was evident that he cherished and adored her. Their relationship was an example to us as young marrieds –- one more blessing from knowing them.
In the last chapter of our friendship together, we watched Effie care for Charlie as his health failed. He still teased and adored Effie, knowing that it was far more than mere chance that he had met her.
I am closing this chapter today, as they were deceased within months of each other. But I thank God for these two friends. I will never forget Charlie’s love for Effie and her beautiful example of a godly woman that showed me who I could become.
God says that it is not good for human beings to be alone — we need friends. To have friends, the Lord advises, we must be friendly, as Charlie and Effie were to us.
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)
Who is it that needs us to be a friend to them today? How can we be examples to others through our friendships?
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for fearfully and wonderfully creating each of us. Thank You for giving us worth in Your eyes. Help us live gently and humbly as the ones You uniquely intended us to be, offering friendship to others. May we speak with wisdom and encourage one another, all the time abiding in You, obedient and submissive to Your will. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Lois Macdonald <email@example.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission