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God is Our Friend
By Wanda Duvall
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

John 15-16 (last part of verse 15 & first part of 16)
…Jesus said, “I have called you friends for everything that I have learned from my father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.”

As a small child, I never entertained the thought that God might choose me to fulfill a task for him. My world was filled with trips to my grandparent’s farms to help my grandmother feed the lambs which had strayed from their mothers and to watch my bee keeper uncle take honey from the bee hives. But even then I felt surrounded by a comforting presence I knew as Jesus, who loved me and was my friend.  We lived in Southern Indiana just across the river and my grandparents lived on farms about 40 miles upriver from Louisville, Kentucky. As I grew older, around the age of 13, I felt God speaking to me asking me to do something special for him, but I had no idea what it could be.

After I married my husband, I moved to Indianapolis for his work.  My world began to expand and as the years went by, we raised our children, went to church, and made friends that I still have to this day. I gradually became aware that God was giving me a nudge again. It became stronger as time passed and I knew God needed me to prepare myself to step out of my comfort zone. I began to pray to know God’s will for my life. I knew that whatever it was God was with me ready to be my friend and
help me.

I starting working outside my home when I was in my late 30s and in my early 40s began my college career. I began preparing myself to do Social Work. I loved my classes and was excited to begin my field work. I did not know where my career would lead, but as I concentrated in Child and Family there began to be a pattern. My practicum's included several agencies: adoption, the Juvenile Center, the Guardian Home and my final one, to complete my Master’s degree was with the public schools.

Every day as I went about my work as a Social Worker in the Public Schools of Indianapolis, I became aware that God was more than my Savior, my protector, and guardian; he had always been my nearest and dearest friend. He was with me as I performed my duties of counseling with children, parents, teachers, and working with the Juvenile Courts, I was relying more on God to give me wisdom and compassion and often even the words I would say. Now that I am retired, I am finding new ways to help my “friend” as He has always helped me.

Dear God, We know you will call us to use the gifts you have given us. Help us to listen to your still small voice as you nudge us in the right direction.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Other scripture references  Ex 33:7-11; John 15:9-16: John 1:12-13

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