Devotions

Make New Friends

A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity. Proverbs 17:17  
   
Memories of Grace Rabek rise up from the past like the fragrance of flowers. She was the longest-lived Girl Scout that I ever knew and one of the friendliest humans this world has ever seen. I barely remember when she was a new friend. She immediately made a connection with me and sustained it. I quickly learned that she did that with everyone she encountered. Armed with her love for God and song lyrics she’d memorized from her scouting days Grace went out into the world always ready and willing to make new friends. I think what’s especially beautiful about Grace is that she was already your friend before she knew you. Are you like that too?  
   
The first verse of the Girl Scout song Grace loved says, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold. A circle is round, it has no end. That's how long, I will be your friend.”   
She often quoted that song to me, and she lived it out. I enjoyed a wonderful friendship with Grace and miss her brilliant smile very much. Her dedication to making new friends still inspires me. This Sunday, September 26 is “Friend Day” and I want to encourage you to invite a friend to join you for worship. If Grace were here, she’d probably be calling everyone in her neighborhood.   
   
My last exchange with Grace Rabek was sweet and brief. I thanked her for being so loving. I said, “You’ve loved everybody, even the worst people!” She said, “Of course! God made everyone and so everyone has love in them.” She said, “God doesn’t waste a person because he made them.” Grace is the best sermon I’ve ever seen and heard.

No Time to Pray

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16 (NIV) 

Do you ever feel like your days are so “booked up” that you cannot (or do not) find time to quiet your heart and mind to pray?  Lately, it seems like life is moving very fast. In a way, this is exciting because it means the programs at the church are gearing up, and my family is celebrating birthdays and dealing with all the things life is bringing our way.  

Activity is good, but we need to remember amid all the “busy-ness” of life, we need to take time to be still. Taking time to be still and pray to God is foundational for a peaceful life. When we center ourselves and our focus on the Lord, and not the things of this earth, it is more likely we will fulfill God’s will for our lives and find the answers we seek.  

Our scripture focus today reminds us that, “Jesus withdrew to lonely places to pray.” I’m not sure where you might go…maybe it’s a car ride with the radio off, or a walk outside with no phone or earbuds. Wherever you go for silence, I pray you will retreat to this place and spend some time talking and listening to God. I know when I do, things seem a little less chaotic and a lot more peaceful. 

Posted by Betsy Butler
Tags: devotion

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