“Close friendships aren’t instantaneous; they must be cultivated over time…a close relationship with Him is cultivated the same way human friendships are—through time spent together, communication, vulnerability, and shared interests…In the same way, spiritual unity with the Almighty must be diligently pursued.” ~ Charles Stanley
I can recall numerous locations where I felt an exchange of deep level trust between me and a friend during conversations. Even now, I can vividly remember those moments, the facial expressions, voice inflections, tears, laughter, frustration, and the quiet eye to eye contact. You know the kind. It’s the deep seeing “you don’t have a word to say” gaze; but the quiet mutual perception that you deeply care.
Literally, I did soak it all in! Our first full day was a rainy one. I was up early enough though to enjoy coffee on the giant porch before the down pour began. The release of my tightly held shoulders slipped away as I heard the birds sing and the quiet of the morning begin to awaken the mountainside. It was a sweet time with the Lord, just me and Him…not really discussing much, but Him offering me a much-needed time of solitude in the mountains that I love so much. The colors placed in sight were just beginning to turn their vivid hues of deep red and gold on a blanket of deep forest green. The midst on the mountain reflected a hint of a rainbow that floated above the valley. Yes, a reminder once again of God’s faithfulness in and through all things.
32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,
33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.
34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property,
since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
36 For you have need of endurance,
so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
37 For,“Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
Here's the thing, we have need of endurance and our Father is right there, cheering us on! He provides the Holy Spirit to guide us to do His will and to comfort us when life is tough. He knows us well and desires Himself to be known because of His great love for us. It's a perfect love, with perfect trust, for faithful hearts. It's a Sacred Place.
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