Today I am sharing a letter written to me by my best friend a few years before she went to be with the Lord. I was on a Walk to Emmaus weekend and she shared this with me. I was also going through a hard and trying time of taking care of my precious mother while she battled cancer that eventually took her home to be with Jesus as well. I share it with you to encourage YOU to be an encouragement to someone you love.
I am truly grateful for the opportunity to say exactly how much I treasure our friendship and how inspired I am by how God is working and revealing Himself in you.
I know you have been suffering in the fire of refinement, recently, I have so hurt for you and prayed that God would work his purpose quickly. The frustration of helplessness is maddening – yet a necessary reminder that all the control we thought we had was really only an illusion…and a dangerous on at that. The Lord has something so much more powerful for us than that! But the power only comes with the ind of surrender that accompanies coming face to face with the reality of our complete weakness and the mercy of his complete sufficiency.
It is then – when we are finally empty of all the wood, hay and stubble we sought to offer Him – that we find inside our emptiness: faith, hope and love…the only things that remain forever. We know that whatever is not of faith is sin-so that all we wanted to give of our own merit is flammable. But the gift of our emptiness-given on an alter built of faith in His goodness, hope in his salvation, and love of His heart – He takes and fills with the power of His Spirit and glories in what is finally completely His alone.
It is a hard thing to submit to The Potter when the clay has a will of its own. I have been so encouraged to see your strength and desire to be completely his regardless of the cost. “Now I know that the Lord save his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:6-7). I have seen his unfailing love rest upon you even as you put your home in him (Psalm 33:22), and that his faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117).
It was the sincerity of your heart that first prompted my desire to have you as a close friend…the purity of your devotion to the Lord…the totality of your willingness to surrender to Him the paths of your life – even when you could not see the wisdom – even when painful sacrifice was required. Your desire to know Him and be his was complete and such an encouragement to me. I pray that He has used this weekend to reward you for your faith by increasing it, then heaping blessing on top like whipped cream on a sundae! (sorry for the food analogy!)
It has been difficult to have you away – and my own crises have kept me from connecting with you as often or as in depth as I’d like – but I know the Father has secluded you for a higher purpose and that you are safe with him until you are back with all of us who love you so much. (Psalm 118:8-9). He has provided you with refuge and sanctuary (Psalm 20). The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!! (Psalm 118).
Still, I selfishly yearn to have you home where the joy of our friendship may be more complete for that is what you have been in my life: joy. As I face my own struggles, I have missed that joy – the refreshing of your faithful friendship- but I know the Lord alone will sustain us both.
But near or far, my dear friend, I do truly love you. I do truly thank God for you.
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