‘They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.’ Acts 20:37-38 (NIV).
Paul had devoted himself to these believers in Ephesus. Together, they had built strong, loving friendships. Theirs was a wonderful example of life sustaining Christian fellowship. Paul had cared for them and loved them, prayed and cried over their needs.
In return, the believers had responded with love and care for him. They had prayed and brought comfort to Paul throughout his trials. And at his departure they wept tears of sadness, knowing they would dearly miss the man who they would never see again.
Saying goodbye to those we love is no easy thing; especially to those whom we may not see again this side of eternity. And yet we have the hope that in time God will guide us into new friendships that can be just as rewarding and as intimate as those we say goodbye to.
Paul met like minded men and women wherever the Lord led him. The believers in Ephesus were not the only kindred spirits that he formed strong ties with. God always brought him alongside believers where there was the opportunity for mutual edification and love.
‘Lord, I am seeking friends who I can love and support on their journey with you and friends whom I can share with and be an encouragement to me. Father, lead me into loving, caring relationships again. Thank you.’
In Jesus’ Mighty Name,
Are we in a stage of life where God is leading us away from familiar friends into unknown territory? Or perhaps we are the ones left behind as dear friends leave? Whatever our current situation, we can hope in our Heavenly Father who ‘richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment’(1 Timothy 6:17) and that includes the blessing of friends whose support and love will come to mean so very much to us.
Is God asking us to trust Him with the fellowship we need as He moves us into new life circumstances? Seek Him in prayer for He is our loving Father who knows what we need, even before we ask.
Be Greatly Blessed!