So far Front Row Friends (FRFs) has discussed friendship in the light of fire. Looks like we got a bunch of pyros over here. Reflecting on these friends fanning dreams and works into flame led me directly to think about the refinement that comes with friendship with my FRFs.
“For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads’ we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”
God allows us to be refined through the process of earthly difficulties that illuminate the sin that entangles us during our brief duration on the earth. I think I’m often refined through my FRFs. Knowing I have a safe space to share my struggles is pivotal. God knows my heart, but having accountability and encouragement through friends who spur me onto love Jesus wholeheartedly has been one of my greatest treasures. I ponder this gift. They are like the Shadrachs, Meshachs, and Abendagos in life. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendago were Jews who would not bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar and were thrown into a blazing furnace as a consequence (Daniel 3). These men were fully convinced that they were honoring the Lord and did not waver in their stance. Upon being placed in the furnace, Nebuchadnezzar saw four men walking around unharmed, when only three were thrown in. I envision this as my FRFs and God. If we pursue righteousness together, God will show up and meet us in the fire and refinement. He protects and shows me his glory through friendship. Friends who care about my walk with Christ call out the areas in need of growth, but only do so in love (Ephesians 4:15, Hebrews 10:24). The people in my life who gently correct with pure intentions and genuine love and acceptance have a front row seat. They have the ability to speak into my life and prompt me to look inward. I think the Lord uses these friends to show me facets of His grace, mercy, love, kindness, gentleness, and forgiveness. I love that when I encounter these friends, I encounter Christ-- and this in and of itself brings me to a place of abundance.