friends like these

I think everyone needs to have a group of friends who are completely different from you. People who don't look like you, think like you, act like you, but still, for some unknown reason, love you nonetheless.

Earlier this week I had the privilege of sitting down with some of our church members who are in quite a different stage of life than I find myself in. I taught a Bible study for our "seniors" on the subject of prayer and received much more of a blessing than I could have given. I spent nearly 90 minutes with some of the most encouraging and supportive members of our congregation. We talked about prayer, and by that I mean I asked them questions and tried to stay quiet long enough to soak up their insight and wisdom.

I wish you could have been there with us, listening to them explain the benefits that God provides them through regular and also sporadic prayer times. To hear their stories of wrestling with God for a long season only to be told "no;" of interceding for prodigal sons and finally seeing a breakthrough; of being woken up in the middle of the night so overwhelmed by a particular burden and committing themselves to prayer for the remainder of the night; of being so thankful for the gracious provision of our God - all of it was wonderfully encouraging.

We shared personal reflections, patterns and habits that aid us and also some that hinder us. And I left that meeting blessed - thankful for the living contribution that a previous generation continues to make in my life, my family, my ministry, and proud of our church that we are still a place that ministers to the young, the old, and everyone in between. It is my personal conviction that a truly healthy church will look like a truly healthy family, with generational inter-connectedness. That, by God's grace, is what I see happening in our midst at Temple, and for that, I am quite thankful. I am honored to call them my friends. I think everyone should have friends like these.