Can you believe how close we are to Revelations? Just a few more weeks, and the look of Word Wednesday will change. I had a friend call last night with a great suggestion for our next “round,” and I am going to be praying about it! I love her idea! For today, we are looking at the short book of Philemon but, as we know, in the Bible, length of the book says nothing about the power it holds! Next week, Hebrews! Care to share how Philemon touched you? Drop down into the comments and let us all know!
Philemon 1:7 (NIV)–Your love has given me great joy and encouagement, because you, brother have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
There is a group of women out there, scattered across the country, who are the sisters of my heart. Nearly three years ago, God put us together (seemingly randomly) in a critique group through ACFW. We were naturally hesitant with each other at first. After all, pouring your heart out through your writing to strangers is hard, especially when you know they will point out the good AND the bad!
As weeks and months passed, something happened. We bonded. We began to share prayer requests. We poured out our hearts in the form of emotions and trials and joys, not just in our stories. We became something more than crit partners.
God smiled. It amazes me that He knew all along this would happen, that we would need each other and pray for each other and cry for each other and laugh with each other. So, he put us all together. Last year, in Indianapolis, four of us had the God-given awesome privilege of spending a weekend together. I think it solidified what we already knew, that this is a lifelong friendship, a sisterhood, God has formed.
Yesterday, I sent an email to these ladies, a desperate cry for prayer from a very low place. And almost before I could blink, the responses came and the prayers started. Sometimes, we think we go through things alone, and yes, this group is scattered. But, as one of my dear crit partners once said, “Love how, when we pray for each other, we’re like the Verizon map, lighting up the whole continent!” Like Paul says in the verse above, they refresh me and encourage me and bring me joy.
Who has God placed in your life? I have to tell you, I could make a long list. On those days I feel like I’m slogging through mud hip deep, it would do me good to remember just how many people are on my side, thanks be to God. 🙂