Take a moment and think about one of your best friends. What makes that person such a good friend to you? Is it that they love all the same things that you love?
Maybe it’s that you are in a similar life stage and you are trying to figure it all out together. I wonder if you are good friends because you share a common belief in something. Whatever the reasons are – praise the Lord! Friendship is a gift from God.
I want to take a moment to tell you about one of my best friends. We don’t have a lot in common in terms of interest. She loves to read. I would rather watch a show on Netflix. She enjoys artsy films. I can hardly sit still through most movies. She was once married. I have only known singleness. She has four children, 24 grandchildren, and 40 great grandchildren (with three on the way!). I have two nieces. She’s a U.S. West Coast girl. I’m an U.S. East Coast girl. She is 92, and I am 28.
Yes, I want to take a moment to tell you about one of my best friends who is 64 years older than me. Her name is Rose Marie Miller.
Many of you may know her as the wife of Serge founder, C. Jack Miller as well as the gifted author of numerous books including From Fear to Freedom (1994) and Nothing is Impossible With God (2012). While I love all of these facts about her I never knew her as Jack Miller’s wife or as an author – I have only known her as my co-laboring teammate and friend since 2012.
Rose Marie and I spend a lot of time together outside of our work. I often pick her up in my beat up little Honda for a mid-morning cup of tea and scone at a local café. I cherish our dates together because I get the opportunity to be with a woman who displays a life of faithfulness to her King and His Kingdom in a often unfaithful world.
Faithfulness to the Call
I have seen a tendency in Western Christians to walk away from the call of the Great Commission (Matt. 28) in their retirement years. It’s as if we actually believe there is a certain point in our lives in which Jesus no longer wants us to be part of seeing His Kingdom come on earth! But if we really understand the call of Jesus to deny ourselves and carry our cross – we would see that there is no age restriction or expiration date to the call – but rather a life-long invitation to lay down our lives for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.
I see this lifestyle exemplified in Rose Marie. I see it in the way she engages in conversation with her cab drivers, the way she sits and listens to the stories and struggles of women in the community, and the ways she teaches in weekly Bible studies in the homes of church members. I see a woman who has not let age stand in the way of pursuing people and pointing them to Jesus.
Faithfulness to Prayer
I honestly cannot think of a time that I was with Rose Marie in which the words “Lindsay, we need to pray” did not come out of her mouth. Rose Marie is a woman of prayer and I have learned a tremendous amount about prayer through my friendship with her.
I used to use prayer as a last resort but now I see it as the necessary first response. The truth of the matter is this: in any battle we face, our greatest weapon is prayer. Approaching life with this understanding has showed me that getting on my knees is the best place to fight. Rose Marie’s commitment to prayer has changed the way I live my daily life.
Rose Marie is not perfect. She is a sinner just like the rest of us – but in her I see a woman who not only understands grace and forgiveness – she believes it.
I know she believes it because she depends on and actively invites the Holy Spirit to convict her of her sin. I know she believes it because I see her rejoice and weep with joy over rediscovering God’s deep love for her when she repents. I know she believes it because she does not take the credit for her righteousness – she gives it to Jesus.
Watching her have faith to believe that God is good (even when it hurts) has impacted my life in more ways that I can count. I am thankful for my friend – for the ways she loves Her King, the way she is faithful to His call and for her willingness to lay down her life for His Kingdom – even at the young age of 92.
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