I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop on a foggy Friday, sipping the last of my chai tea latte and reflecting on my morning. I sit here with a delightful smile on my face, feeling sound, secured and loved. Friendships have a way of making our souls sing. I had a free Friday morning and decided to meet up with an old girlfriend. Old, I mean like we’ve known each other for about 35 years.
We talked about the past, the present and the future of our lives. Between all the laughter, there were tears. It was a melancholy morning. As I looked at her across the table I saw a woman who looked exactly the same as she did when we were in high school. We decided to meet again soon because there is change coming on the horizon. Life has progressed and it’s time, once again to embrace a new change in life. I love the kind of friendships where you can pick up right where you left off and sometimes the time in between can be weeks, days or even years.
Christian girlfriend friendships are so special. You see we don’t only catch up on conversations or check in with one another based on our status in life, celebrations or defeats. The phone usually rings from a sojourner after a long quiet season. It rings because God is doing something. He is moving! He is making something happen or we are being pressed in on all sides and liquid gold is coming out.
My continual relationship with my high school friend has had many gaps, but our spiritual journey has been fiercely knitted together. Friendships like these are true treasures. Our friendship has a longevity that pushed through every kind of storm over time. There is a sense of certainty, knowing and belonging when you sit in the presence of an old friend. For me, my heart demands to sing and praise, It is well with my soul. I am filled to the brim with love and so very grateful for all the seasons that our friendship endured.
This is the peace and praise that I think King David felt when he wrote Psalm 71. It is endearing to know that David was an old man when he penned his love about his friendship with God. Each time I passed through Psalm 71, it just became so obvious to me that David truly considered God as his friend. Understanding the love for friends, I imagine he was filled to the brim with love from his heart and soul as he thought about and wrote about his friend, God.
David was facing an adversary yet again in his life and called on God for help in this Psalm. David revisited all the moments when God fiercely knitted their hearts together. I see a tender love story between two old friends. In verse 14 David declares his commitment:
Vs 14: But as for me I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. NAS
This is so wonderful and beautiful to read. Through the thick and thin of life and over a long life span, David continues to hope in God. It’s because of their long history that even now, when David faced yet another adversary that he praises God.
I have heard a term many times that we need to praise God in the hardships. That is easier said than done. I think this moment of praise is different than that for David. He isn’t praising Him in the hardship as an intention to show reverence and trust. He is acknowledging their friendship and praising God for His continual presence over his entire life!
David reviews their friendship history and explores this lifetime of constant relationship with God in verses 1-13 of Psalm 71. He tells us that he puts his trust in God. God has never let him down! He has been given a way of escape and delivered out of the hand of wickedness. God has not only been his rock and refuge, but listens to his pleas for help. I love the part in Psalm 71:13 where he wants God to let his enemies know whose side he is on! Oh my goodness, when I’m in trouble and facing my enemies, I want my friends to have my back and take my side too! Yes, indeed David is writing about his friend. Their friendship has endured over his entire life span. Not just from his youth, but from the womb! Friendships mean that we are known, and David is known by God.
Now though, David writes from the perspective of being an old man. Although the frailty of an old man leaves him feeling vulnerable, his friendship with God as his trusted ally has never failed and he can rely on God for peace, security, safety and strength. In his frailty, David called out to his old friend for help and support as he faces more trouble. Just as tides roll in and roll out; the lessons and enemies will never end, but he continues on his journey of faith. Even now… He will praise God. He will praise him because his soul demands an expression of love that is filled to the brim and overflowing from his heart. With certainty, David continues to hope in and praise his friend, God.
Sheri Page has been married to her husband for 10 years and cherishes their blended family of 6 adult children and 9 grandchildren. She has worked in and alongside ministries for over 30 years. She has served many roles with in the walls of a church including, a Women’s Ministry director and assistant to a Care Pastor where she served people who were walking through Baptism, Celebrate Recovery, Divorce Care and benevolence. Sheri loves to share her curiosity and unique understanding of life with Jesus by her side. She is a 5 year breast cancer survivor and considers that experience to be the one of the greatest gifts God has given her. More writings from Sheri can be found on her blog: https://thelordsdwellingplace.com/