I don't think I can adequately put into words the emotion of this day.
It was finally the day when our choir was going to perform the program we've been working on for months. It was called "To Bring Him Glory." I thought it came together so well, and that the message of the Gospel was CLEARLY presented. I mean, there were no testimonies this year...no drama, no live animals. Just the Gospel in song...plain and simple.
The first service went well, and by the time it ended, I think we were all warmed up and comfortable with how things had gone. We were sitting in the choir loft, waiting for the next service to start when Holly goes, "isn't that Mrs. Stacy?"
I looked out in the congregation, and I saw some of our friends walking in...and then I saw my friend Stacy, and her two kids. And I felt tears well up in my eyes. I kept thinking, "don't cry...don't cry...don't cry...you have to sing...don't cry."
Here's the deal. Our friends, Bill and Ruth, from our old home town...have a daughter goes to college here in our town...and she also goes to our church. She had a solo in our choir program today, and her family came to hear her. We knew that they were coming. What none of us knew was that our other friends were coming, too. They showed up and surprised us ALL. We were so excited to see everyone! And Stacy looked like the cat who swallowed the canary...she pulled off a great surprise and it was wonderful.
After church, we all went to lunch...all 15 of us. We went to a Mexican restaurant and stayed for 2 hours just talking.
Just like we used to do.
And the words of encouragement that were spoken around that table? I cannot even tell you what it meant to all of us.
Friendship is a blessing. Friendship with other believers...it's just priceless.
And this is why we need to keep our Christian friends close. We need to check on them and check in with them and encourage them in their walks with the Lord. We need to encourage them to stay grounded in God's Word and we need to keep them accountable. And we need to have friends who will do all of that for us. Because there will be times when we are at the end of our ropes...when we are backed into a corner and don't know how to get out...when we have tried it all and nothing is working...when we are broken over the condition of a family member...when we have nothing else to give and we want to give up...these are times when Christian friends can step in and offer words that are like a salve to the soul.
Prayer is a powerful thing, and it's something we can do even when we don't know the person or the situation.
But spoken words can be a gift, washing God's grace and peace over us.
And that's what happened today. And my heart is so full.
"A word spoken at the right time is like fruit of gold set in silver." Proverbs 25:11
And, speaking of prayer needs: this came across my screen today from Melanie about her friend. I don't know either one of them, but that doesn't matter. Can we agree to pray for this sweet lady?