Friday, May 13, 2005

Weekly Word for May 13 - 20, 2005

Weekly Word - May 13, 2005

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
(1 John 4: 7)

It was one of those nights, when no matter how hard you try - sleep just won’t come. Tossing and turning, I was afraid I would wake him. So finally, I quietly slipped out of the bed. As I stood there looking at him, I wrestled with so many feelings. I wanted to wake him up - I wanted to hear his voice - and know that everything would be just fine. But I also wanted him to sleep - knowing how hard he had been working - and seeing the exhaustion on his face that night when he had come home. Silently, I tip-toed out of the room.

Quietly, I walked from room to room - making sure everything was in it’s place. As I walked by the study, I stopped to pet Bear our cat - and then I moved on to the living room. As I sat down on the couch, I thought about turning the lights on - but left the room in shadows - as the light from the fish tank and outside pole somewhat lit the room. As I sat there, I thought about the man asleep in our bed. He was the “love of my life” - my husband - my friend. And friendship was the beginning. As I thought about that - - - I couldn’t help but remember back - - - back to other relationships - other friendships - - - that now - seemed a lifetime ago . . .

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18: 24)

We were so excited, we were now the oldest in our school! We were 5th graders now! And most of us had already turned 10! We thought we were so grown up! We were even going to start changing rooms for certain subjects, and so we thought we were very cool! There were 20 girls and only 5 boys in my class. But one of those boys was my best friend Chris. I knew that other girls were jealous - but he was my friend. We sat side by side in the back of the class - making jokes and laughing behind our teacher’s back! She was one of the meanest teachers in the school, and most of us didn’t like her.

Over the next few months, Chris and I would get into trouble - just horsing around when our work was done. I really liked Chris, and I sometimes pretended he was my boyfriend! Then one day - - - my world changed. Chris and I had been playing with our pencils - stabbing at each other as if they were swords. I wasn’t as fast as he was - and he stabbed me in the wrist. As the teacher angrily walked toward me - yelling the whole way - she grabbed my arm and dragged me to the nurse. The nurse bandaged me up, and I headed back to class. When I got there, the teacher wouldn’t let me sit in my seat! She moved me to the front of the class. In front of everyone - she told the classroom that none of them would want to be my friend - - - after all - - - I was going to be getting braces soon . . .

After that day - Chris never talked to me again. I was so hurt, and wondered why my friend - wasn’t my friend - any more . . .

Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, . . . Has lifted up his heel against me.
(Psalm 41: 99)

We were in high school, and again my best friend was a boy. His name was Ray, and we were in most of the same classes together. He, along with our friend Pete, would sit with me in study - doing our math homework together. I was in most of the advanced math classes, along with mostly boys. But it was Ray that became my close friend. We talked about everything - boyfriends and girlfriends - our hopes and dreams - everything that teenagers wonder about . . .
Ray and I never dated - as we always seemed to have relationships just when one of us would be free. We talked about it - dating - but never did! So when he started dating another “Debbie” in our senior year - many of our friends thought he was dating me! It wasn’t hard to figure out why they thought that - as Ray would walk down the halls with his arm around my shoulder while we talked. It was a relationship full of trust and friendship. Then one day, he came to study looking very upset. As he sat down, I knew that something was very wrong. “Debbie won’t let me be friends with you anymore” he said. I didn’t believe him at first - but he meant it! He told me how she had heard from friends about us - and she was jealous. From that day on - - - our friendship changed . . .

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad . . . The spirit is broken.
(Proverbs 15: 13)

It was our Senior Dance - and I hadn’t spoken alone with Ray since that day so many months earlier. I watched him dancing with her, and wondered about our friendship. Just then, the band announced that we would have a “Shoe Dance”. Each boy was to put one shoe in the middle of the floor. Then each girl - was to take a shoe - and find that boy. As I picked up a shoe - I wondered who I would be dancing with. Then he was there - - - standing before me . . . And we danced . . .

A friend loves at all times . . .
(Proverbs 17: 17)

I was 16 when I started to work at the local grocery store. He was 20 and seemed to think I was cute. He would “bag” for me as I rang up the groceries for the customers and he seemed to want to go out with me - and so we started to date. But he had a “best friend” - and they would go everywhere together. They had known each other since they were boys - and so whenever he came to visit - Scott came along as well. Scott would smile and stand slightly back - as they stopped to say “hi” - and then headed over to Scott’s house to play pool. I couldn’t help it - I didn’t like Scott - I was jealous!

I wanted time alone - without Scott around. I wanted Scott to disappear so I could see more of him - so I didn’t have to share! And then it happened - - - Scott was gone! A truck hit him as he rode his motorcycle home from college.

I went to the calling hours and funeral with him - watching him and realizing that he had lost his very best friend - who was more like a brother to him. Scott’s family was “his” family. I felt so guilty, as I saw his hurt and grief. As he cried, I held him - wishing I could somehow take his pain . . .

The one who does not love does not know God, . . . for God is love.
(1 John 4: 8)

From that day on - I determined to be his “friend” - and I was! For 21 years I was his “best” friend - all through our marriage. But he wasn’t my friend. I’m not really sure why - but he never had another friend - - - no one ever replaced Scott . . .

Love is from God; and everyone who loves - is born of God - and knows God.
(1 John 4: 7)

Getting up from the couch, I headed back to the bedroom. As I stood there, I looked down at this wonderful man sleeping - - - and I remembered back to the beginning . . .

She was supposed to be my best friend as well as my partner. We had shared so much together. She had listened to all my secrets - my hurts and pain - - - as well as sharing in my hopes and dreams. We worked together - and prayed together. And so it wasn’t a surprise when she shared one of her dreams with me. When she told me about it - she told me that it was from 20 years earlier - and she still remembered every detail. In the dream she saw herself getting ready to perform a wedding. There seemed to be someone lurking about - an “assassin” who wanted to stop her. In the dream, people were coming from all over, as she began to get ready for the big event. And then it happened - she saw him - a big, hulking man who seemed to have no life inside of him. He somehow shot her through the heart, just as she pushed him down. And then she performed the wedding. As she told me the dream - I could see her eyes fill with excitement - and she confided that she felt that the “wedding” was something very big that God wanted her to do - - - and it was going to happen very soon!

“This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”
(John 15: 12)

It was about this time, when she told me her dream, that the ministry seemed to get very busy. We were seeing so many clients - and having quite a few bible studies. And that’s when Ted came into our lives - - - and changed everything!

He and I talked every day, and sometimes through the night - about everything! We became best friends - and loved each other so much! As he and I grew closer, she and I grew farther apart. I really wasn’t sure why - but I knew she wasn’t happy. We were still praying together each day - and as the day grew closer for Ted and my wedding - we both were very surprised when His Presence seemed to fill the room . . .

“You are My friends, if you do what I command you.”
“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
(John 15: 14 & 15)

“For all things . . . I have made known to you” - This was the wedding that God had told my friend about all those years earlier. As we finished praying, she looked at me with tears in her eyes, and I knew that her heart hurt - as I would be leaving - to live my life with him . . .

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Carefully, I got back into bed. As I did, he reached out to me - pulling me closer as he continued to sleep. Feeling the warmth of his body, I started to fall asleep. As I did, I knew how much this love was a gift - - - to us both - - - for the rest of our lives. For this love . . . Is from God . . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord . . .

I pray that you will know all that God has planned for your own Life. It is always for the very best! God bless you in this coming week ahead!

In His Love,

Debbie & Ted Ayers


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