Quotes to Ponder
Turning to God FIRST!
When you need something or are in the midst of trouble, which do you do first -- pray or call on a friend? Once when I was struggling through a dark time of depression, I felt I had no one I could turn to. In my case, my friends were there for me, but my pride prevented me from whining to them yet again. I felt so alone. I finally turned to God. While on my knees I dumped out my anger at Him. Why had He let this happen to me? Why didn't anyone know I was hurting so badly and call me this time?
In her book, The Friendships of Women, Dee Brestin writes,
As women, our tendency toward dependency on people is our Achilles' heel. We forget that our only real security is in God, and we trust instead in each other.
The Lord allowed me into that situation so that I might learn how dependent I had become on people. Some of the other lessons I learned were to lean upon Him fully, to trust Him completely, to turn to Him first, and to thank Him for those dear friends. I can remember playing and singing "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" over and over one day as the realization of His lessons hit me full force. My tears that day were tears of repentance and joy.
In her second book on the subject of women's friendships called We Are Sisters, Dee Brestin writes,
Many times in my walk as a Christian wife and mother, I've needed advice. It's not nearly as hard to ask for advice as it is for other kinds of help. Perhaps as a result, often my first response when I'm troubled is to pick up the phone and call an empathetic friend. But God has been teaching me that a woman who is mature will run first to Him. Until I have been still before Him, until I have sought the Scriptures for His wisdom, it's too soon to run to a friend.
Turning to the Lord first does not "belittle" friendships. It builds them up, makes them stronger. It puts God first in our lives and glorifies Him.
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. - Ecclesiastes 4:12
The threefold cord could mean three friends or it could mean two friends and God. I like to think it means the latter, that God strengthens us through Him to strengthen and encourage each other. I had strained my friendships by putting my friends first. As I leaned upon God and put Him first, He strengthened those friendships through Him. Mrs. Brestin writes,
It's important to love our friends and to be committed to them. But we need to be dependent on God, because He's the only One who will never leave us.
I think we not only need to be dependent on God because He will never leave us, but also because dependence without Him strains and weakens and eventually destroys. A final quote from Dee Brestin's We Are Sisters says so much about the way He works through friends,
Facing the hardest decision of my life, I had pleaded with the Lord for His counsel. He in turn impressed on my heart to go and talk to the godliest women I knew. Then He worked through my sisters in an amazing way. When I reflect back on that time I am still overcome with awe.
It is an awesome feeling to look back upon the ways the Lord has worked in our lives. I pray that we turn to Him first!
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. - Psalm 9:10
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. - Matt 6:33
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The Friendships of Women
by Dee Brestin
This is recommended reading for Christian women who desire to have friendships that glorify God. Using examples of biblical friendships, Mrs. Brestin discusses different types of friendships and ways that we can heal and strengthen them. She even covers what to do in an unhealthy friendship. --Kathy Ridpath
We Are Sisters
by Dee Brestin
This is the follow-up book to The Friendships of Women and I think it has more practical information. This book was written more like a study guide. In this book she deals with motherhood, childhood pains, and how Christian women can encourage each other in their marriages. --Kathy Ridpath
"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."