Kingdom Friends

As I look back over the past four months I find it very interesting how God Himself works in your life and how He uses people to do His work in your life as well.

When trials come, you think you know who your friends are.  And I know when my life fell apart, I thought I knew who was going to be there for me.  But then as I barely managed to function for a few days, the ones I thought would be there were silent for the first day or two.  At first, it was very easy to take offense.  Why haven’t they come?  Why haven’t they called?  As I thought and thought about this, God made it very clear that they were so hurt with us and for us that they literally had no clue what to say.  You see, they only had tears for us!  And as they began to put their emotions together and talk with us, it became so clear we were not forgotten but rather we were loved and cherished!  And those that were closest to us were so broken for us!  I wonder if this is part of what was going on when Jesus didn’t come immediately to see Mary and Martha after Lazarus had died.  Maybe Jesus was so broken because Mary and Martha was so broken!  But Jesus knew what He was going to do but that didn’t keep Him from being broken for Mary and Martha!  In our situation, what God did was in those first couple of days, He sent some people that we would not have considered our very best friends to minister to us!  And they did that well!  A sweet friend from church immediately began to plan meals.  A lengthy phone call where someone just prayed over the phone and brought calmness.  A visit from an elder and his wife who just loved us and prayed with us.  God definitely was at work in our lives through His people!

Some times, people come into your life for a season.  I struggle with being bitter when they are there for a season and then they are gone! I often feel like I share my life and heart with them and they are not good stewards of that!  But what God is teaching me, is that He puts the right people in your life at just the right time.  Those people are there for a season and that’s His purpose!  Maybe their season was when I spent a lot of times in a hospital and they were called to be with Zine and I.  Maybe their season was to get us through our messed up holidays.  Maybe their season was to take Chloe to get her allergy shot several weeks in a row.  God sends people for the right season! My human side still struggles with this but God has so plainly showed me this truth!  And I walk in confidence knowing that God will continue to send just the right people at the right time.

Others are our prayer partners.  They carry us before the Lord on regular basis.  They have no way to know how much of an impact their prayers have in our daily lives.   But I can testify that often these prayer partners, whether “virutal” or “local”, send notes, emails, facebook messages…and there are no words to say how often the timing of those notes or messages meet a need in our lives.  Just two weeks ago, it was a rough day.  And in the mail, was nothing but a simple card!  But it meant the world to me!  Several weeks ago, as I was leaving church, a friend who is always the one who is happy and keeps everyone upbeat hugged me and said I’m not good with words in circumstances like this but I care about you and pray for you all the time.  Can I say, how much that ministered to my heart?  So…even if you consider yourself a prayer warrior, your  messages and prayers, God orchestrates them to enter our lives at just the right time!

Then, there are those random act of kindness friends!  They are those who care deeply and hurt for us but simply put their lives do not allow them to be a constant support in our lives.  But they have loved well through monetary gifts, gift cards, house keepers, meal providers, surprise gifts left at our door, Christmas presents, and invitations to take us to dinner just to get us out of the house kind of friends!  Some of them have been known people to us such as a neighbor, a long time friend from out of state, a church member or a  Sunday School class.  Others have remained anonymous such as the secret Santa or the movie basket that was left on our porch!  But each of you have played a huge role in lifting our spirits and meeting needs in our lives!  I think I want to do more Random Acts of Kindness for others!!

Another group of people that God uses are the no shows.  Yes, God uses the no shows!  You know…those friends who you just knew were going to be your confidants in your life as you walk through difficult times, but then they run and hide!  They are no where to be found!  I’m so grateful that God has not sent a lot of these into my life!  However, it’s not my job to judge those that don’t show up!  I don’t know their story.  Maybe our story brings back a hurtful experience from their past and it is simply too painful for them.  Maybe they are simply overwhelmed with their own life.  It’s not my job to judge why those I think are going to walk with me are no shows.  My job is to learn from God, even in the no shows!  And allow God to freely use people to fulfill His purpose here on earth!

New friends emerge from difficult times!  Some of the people who have entered our lives are new friends.  They weren’t close to us in the past.  But God has gifted them with a heart or a service that He has used to meet needs and minister to us.  And they are well on their way to becoming what I call an “all in” friend.  I’m grateful for new friends!

An “all in” friend…they are “all in” to encouraging, giving, supporting, loving, listening, calming, etc.  And not only are they all in, they are all in for the long haul!  They will be here in 10 years.  They will be here tomorrow.  Not everyone can be an “all in” friend.  God has selected certain people to be the “all in” friends.  And personally, I think I feel sorry for my “all in” friends!!  But I’m so grateful for my “all in” friends.

God’s plan is to use people to fulfill His purpose in our lives.  He uses each person individually and uniquely.  My goodness, I wouldn’t want eight bowls of spaghetti to show up on the same night!  So why would I want God to use people all in the same way??  I’m so thankful that I have people surrounding my life who are obedient to God and responds to His prompting!  I’m so thankful that God is teaching me about how He chooses to use people to accomplish His purpose.  And I’m so glad that I’m learning so much about how to love others well.  And I’m learning that I don’t have to be the “all in” friend to everyone.  I might be the random act of kindness friend!  That’s still part of God’s purpose.  And I think that God wants us to continually to be looking beyond ourselves.  He wants us involved in the life of others.  I’m so grateful that even in my chaos, God has allowed us to see beyond ourselves and provided ways we can meet needs in others lives in the middle of our chaos!

Where are you?  Are you self focused?  Or are you allowing God to prompt your heart and are you being obedient to His prompting?  If so, then let me assure you, you are Kingdom Friends!

As a concluding remark, I struggled with this post because I’m afraid I might have hurt feelings or I might have friends that are going to be wondering where they fall in these categories.  My purpose of this was not to hurt feelings nor was my purpose to slam anyone for being a no show.  My purpose was to show that God uses people for His Kingdom purposes and He uses every one uniquely.  And He is about providing for each and every need.  He has the power to orchestrate the timing of a simple card or a simple text message to be part of His Kingdom plan.  And I want to urge us all to be Kingdom Friends!!  Listening and being obedient to God’s prompting!  Moving beyond ourselves and learning to look at the needs of others!


Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Renee

    Karen, I so appreciate your openness and honesty during your family's difficult journey.

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