A devotion from Cheryl Zelenka’s soon to be released book of devotions FACING STORMS. Available on Amazon this October.
“The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Psalm 121:8
“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26 (NKJV)
In our lifetime we will cross paths with many different people. We ought to learn from and help those we meet by sharing our hearts, faith, and love. Pathways intersect for a reason. God has planned and ordained each one.
There are some individuals who walk into our lives for a brief moment but then disappear never to be seen or heard from again. There are other folks whom we are certain to be life long friends, but as it turns out, they are not. We share a period of close intimacy with them but somehow the relationship ends or fizzles away, often unexpectedly.
Again, some folks enter our lives and we think it will be for just a moment. However, it turns out to be God’s design to keep them involved in our walk until the end of our days. Finally, there are some who were important to us in our earlier years but left to walk down a different footpath. Gone for but a time, they reappear in our later years. I guess in these cases there are more lessons to be learned and more service to be performed.
No matter the circumstance, paths cross for a reason. Maybe we have a job we need to do for the other person; say help them through a trial. Maybe they had an appointed calling to serve with us in a ministry, but then God calls them down a different path or into a new ministry.
There are also some people who have wounded us in life, intentionally or unintentionally. They may be in our lives until we grow up and move away, or they might remain attached to us for the remainder of our years. These folk may or may not have a place in our future. This is when we need to seek the face of God and ask for His advice.
Maybe you are keeping some hurtful people in your life. Why? Pray about it. God will let you know if they need to remain permanently attached, to some degree, or not. They may not have a place in your present or future. Consider if God is asking you to cut ties or tighten knots. There could be a season when these people leave your life, only to have God bring them back years later, for a moment. Some relationship roads cross but then run parallel to each other. There are so many footpaths to the kingdom of God.
All in all, God has a reason for intersecting your life with specific individuals.
Pray about the relationships in your life. Are they drawing you into a closer walk with God, or are they drawing you into temptation and sin? Do you feel pressed to keep them close because you feel the need to pray, witness, or serve them?
Not all relationships are balanced, but we should strive to have a Paul, Timothy, and Barnabas nearby. A “Paul” figure would be a mentor of sorts and a “Barnabas” would be a peer and encourager. A“Timothy” would be someone you could come alongside to disciple and mentor. You will probably not have all three of these examples in your life at the same time but if so, you are blessed!
Reflect upon the relationships in your life. Lay them before God and ask Him to direct you regarding YOUR place in their lives. Then ask your Father if He wants them in your life and if so, for how long and how deeply. He may want you to draw back a bit, or He may want you to dive in a bit deeper. May our Lord give you ears to hear His answer and a heart to receive and obey His will.
PRAY OVER THESE SCRIPTURES DURING YOUR QUIET TIME WITH GOD
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 (NKJV)
“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV)
“The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8 (NKJV)