In our BSF studies the question came up, ‘How did God encourage Paul?’ As I looked over Acts 18, I saw the friends He put in Paul’s life. First, he had Barnabas, John Mark, Timothy, Silas. They travelled with him, taught him and then, in turn, learned from him. But along this very hard journey, Paul ran in to Aquila and Priscilla. They loved the Lord like Paul, but they were also tent makers like Paul. (I forget about the whole tent-making sometimes!) The commonality had to be a comfort for this journeyman. God added more friends –Lydia and her whole household, Titius Justus – a worshipper of God, and Crispus whose entire family believed and followed. Paul landed in Corinth where many Jews had been exiled. Don’t you know he related to them? He found people who loved God and were hungry for the Word. They received Paul’s teachings and became Christians. God encouraged Paul with friendship, ‘like-ship’, with others who loved the Lord. He even gave him two friends, Priscilla and Aquila, to share ‘tent talk’ with and Paul stayed with them at their home. They were like family. Timothy was like a son to him. Barnabas was a great encourager. Paul was nourished right in the belly of God’s family! God comforted and held Paul up with one of my favorite gifts – Friendship.
As I was reading the words in this beautiful Book, my mind started wandering to the faces of friends in my life. He’s introduced me in so many ways at so many times. I smiled and felt blessed as I thought about the way my Sisters and Brothers hold me up and encourage me. I thought of things we have in common and how God had brought us together. What would I do without those that my Father has given me….the ones that point me to Him every time we speak? They help me build my tent of Faith. They are the cement that holds my foundation in place. These saints are God’s Gorilla Glue! As God lays my foundation on His Word, they smooth the edges. As each wall of faith, hope and charity goes up, they hold them together for me! The supports of my tent are built on their prayers, encouragement and the courage they pass on to me. And as all these walls come together at the top, they point my face to Heaven. I know of God’s favor. I feel His Presence. I’m safe inside of its cocoon. My walls are built with the hands of Faith, Brotherhood and Love.
Old friends or new friends, God always knows what we need and who we need. (And when we need them!) I pray that I too, will be someone’s Godly Gorilla Glue. I pray that I will offer cement and not sand. And I thank God and am ever grateful for those who have offered themselves to me.