Daily Devotion – Luke 4:18 – Unlikely Friends

When God Shows You a Friend

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me. He has put His hand on Me to preach the Good News to poor people. He has sent Me to heal those with a sad heart. He has sent Me to tell those who are being held that they can go free. He has sent Me to make the blind to see and to free those who are held because of trouble” Luke 4:18, NLV

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me. He has put His hand on Me to preach the Good News to poor people. He has sent Me to heal those with a sad heart. He has sent Me to tell those who are being held that they can go free. He has sent Me to make the blind to see and to free those who are held because of trouble” (Luke 4:18, NLV)

Women’s Ministry

A few years ago, I attended a Women’s Ministry Prayer day. To be transparent, I use to hate Women’s Ministries. I couldn’t stand all the fake women with hats on their heads looking down at me because I worked and traveled a great deal. They probably thought I sucked as a mother and wife. At least their looks at me implied it, especially whenever they asked if I was attending one of their teas. I would smile and say, “No, thank you.”

I was never in those church women’s clique because I worked way too hard and was always on the go. I rarely had time for tea parties or retreats. However, I had no friends after moving to Houston, so I decided to suck it up and try the Women’s Ministry events in my local area.

One of my friends talked me into attending an event. We reached the location, I dropped off my friend at the door, and I went to park my car. A few moments later, I arrived in the hotel lobby to register. By the time I got checked in, I entered the room a few minutes after my friend.

She Didn’t Like Me

The hotel ballroom was decorated with symbols of the cross and a woman praying. I saw my friend sitting on the front row at a table with someone I knew from church. Interestingly, the women my girlfriend was sitting next to really didn’t like me; she and I had an issue with an event when I first moved to Houston, so we weren’t exactly friends. I said to myself, “Oh, boy. This is going to be interesting.”

I quickly decided there was no way I would walk all the way to the front in front of all those people. I was already late, and I knew this woman from my church did not care for me. Previously, I had been cordial to this lady, but I avoided her ever since we had an argument a few years ago, so I decided to sit in the back.

But my friend wanted me to sit with her. I realized that I never told my friend about the confrontation with this lady. After my friend sent a few text messages and literally dragged my bag away from me, I moved to the front.

Being Cordial

I’m a southern Christian lady whose mother taught me to always speak when seeing someone, so I sat down at the table and spoke to the woman. There was no way to avoid her, as she was the only one sitting at the table.

We both said the proverbial “how are you doing?” then silence. By this time, I was literally cracking up in my head. I knew God had a sense of humor, and He was really giving me a test today. I said to myself “Okay, Lord. You tripping now.”

The lady was courteous. She asked me a question about a mutual friend and how I knew them. After responding to her question, there was more silence. She explained her connection to them, and we were once again quiet.

Finding Our Common Ground

That day, a pastor I knew spoke about Hannah, her struggle to get pregnant, and how God blessed her to have a son. During dinner, we all discussed the sermon, and the lady from my church spoke from her heart about her struggles with raising her children and her painful divorce. I asked her how long she was married. She said, “30 years.”

Boom! There it was. Our common ground, our painful divorces.

I shared that I had been married for 18 years. We spoke about divorce and our children, and I listened to her talk about her pain. I realized that, no matter what we go through with church work, there is something that connects us all––it’s pain.

I sat and listened to her talk about her pain and her life’s ups and downs. I completely forgot about how she treated me before. At that moment, I told her God heals and restores. She admitted to us that it took her a long time to recover. She married again to the love of her life, but, sadly, he died after only a few years. I could see the pain in her eyes.

This conversation moved my heart. I honestly felt her pain and realized that God used my friend to set in motion something I probably would have avoided; closure. It took me a while to think over the events of that day. I enjoyed myself, but the sermon and my experience took me to another level.

We Must Support Each Other

As women, we don’t support each other as we should. We find fault with each other and we treat each other as if we are enemies.

Why can’t we support our sisters? What keeps us from supporting each other? I realized that the issue the lady had with me really wasn’t about me. She was more upset with someone else; I simply got clumped in by association.

I actually thought I had forgiven the woman when she apologized a few years ago, but, clearly, I had not let it go because I was avoiding her. But after this conversation, I was done avoiding her. I made the decision not to hold onto that anymore. I got the lesson. Lesson learned.

Our reminder text is:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me. He has put His hand on Me to preach the Good News to poor people. He has sent Me to heal those with a sad heart. He has sent Me to tell those who are being held that they can go free. He has sent Me to make the blind to see and to free those who are held because of trouble” (Luke 4:18, NLV)

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