The Friends I Didn’t Know I Had

It’s been a busy summer, and it’s been a struggle to keep up with the blogging world. I’ve been distracted in all kinds of good ways, including a wild sail yesterday on choppy waters and gusty winds – such fun! Somewhere in the conversation something reminded me of this post, and when I looked it up, I realized it has been over 4 years since it was first published. Since most of my followers have not been reading my blog for four years, I decided to repost what someone at WordPress (?) dubbed “classic.” Enjoy, and I will reconnect with y’all next week.

“… so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”     Romans 12:5

“Come with Me,” Jesus said. “There are some people I want you to meet.”

Heaven is an indescribably wonderful place, and the best part of being here is seeing Jesus all the time! It still boggles my mind that He knows the names of every one of the millions of people here, as well as every detail about their lives and personalities. He is always introducing me to people He knows I will enjoy, and the fellowship never gets old; in fact, it gets sweeter with each passing day.

This particular day He was inviting me to gather with a group of souls to hear “God stories” and enjoy the fellowship of a brand new circle of friends.  I didn’t know why He wanted me to meet this particular group of saints, but knowing He had His reasons aroused my curiosity, and I knew I was in for a treat, one way or another.

As I stood in the archway, watching this bunch interact, it was hard to tell why they were together. I tried to guess what they all had in common. Some seemed older and more experienced; others seemed childlike. Some were quiet and thoughtful, others gregarious, some more serious, others with a hair-trigger laugh. But as I looked carefully at their eyes, there was something there that I had learned to recognize. Even the childlike ones had that certain wisdom that was a by-product of past suffering. That look revealed lessons learned, as well as the ability find a reason to be grateful to God for every experience, whether pleasant or otherwise.

Suddenly one of them spotted me. His face lit up, and he exclaimed, “She’s here!” They all let out a cheer, as though this were some kind of reunion. I was confused. I had never seen these people before in my life, and yet they were welcoming me like a long-lost friend.

As usual, each of them had a story to tell, and their stories were almost as varied as their personalities. The common thread seemed to be health problems in their earthly life, but they ranged from injuries in auto accidents, to hemophilia, to cancer. I was still mystified. OK, so they’ve all had health problems, but who hasn’t? Why is this particular group of people together, and why did Jesus invite me to join them?

Jesus did know how much I have always loved “God stories,” and these folks had some great ones. Healing came miraculously at times, but most of the time it came providentially, such as when a car crash occurred right across from the hospital that had just received new blood supplies. The child who had battled cancer at such a tender age had seen the prayers of her church answered as her treatments succeeded beyond expectation, and she had even lost her fear of needles. She later went on to be a compassionate nurse, spending all her vacation days taking medical mission trips. One of these people had even left a belief system that disallowed blood transfusions two days before he needed one during surgery, and his life was extended by over twenty years because of it. It was during this extension of his life that he came to know Christ as his savior and led most of his family to faith.

I was enthralled with their stories, and still curious why they were so eager to tell them to me. Suddenly I was aware that Jesus was standing in the doorway again, radiating that smile that always fills me with deepest joy.

“Have you figured out why you’re here?” He asked. I gave him a sheepish grin and shrugged. “They wanted to thank you,” He said. I looked at all their smiling faces, and it began to sink in.


“OK, you’re all set,” the nurse’s chipper voice broke into my daydream. She carefully removed the tape from my arm, slipped the needle out, and lifted my arm over my head. “Drink extra fluids this afternoon, no strenuous exercise, and don’t lift anything more than two pounds,” she added, wrapping a red bandage around my elbow. She helped me to my feet, making sure I wasn’t dizzy, before inviting me to have some juice or water and something to eat.

I took her up on the extra sustenance, but I passed on the stickers that I used to wear proudly after every blood donation, the ones that say, “Be nice to me. I gave blood today.” I didn’t need anyone to be extra nice to me. I was happy just thinking of friends I had yet to meet, and all the God stories I had to look forward to.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for saving us through the shedding of Your blood. You gave everything for us, and now You have told us to give our lives to one another. Thank You for Your promise that no gift is forgotten. We look forward to seeing the fruits of our giving, if not here, in the hereafter. In Your precious name, Amen.

29 thoughts on “The Friends I Didn’t Know I Had

  1. I agree with Ruth. This stands as a great story and devotion, but you weaved in the “cliffhanger” element to it. Nicely done, and a great lesson about being open to the Lord broadening the number of people in your life!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dear Annie, before I checked my dashboard on today’s post and your comment, I had added the statement of our appreciation for the donor of the blood Jerry received this week. We can never write all that the Lord has done, but He continues to bring to our minds these things for which we are thankful. Thank you for this post, for being a donor and for your ministry in our Lord’s name. Blessings.:)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is a lovely story, Annie. I have given blood exactly once in my life. I would love to donate on a regular basis, but unfortunately, I cannot. My blood type, AB negative, is so rare, the blood banks refuse to take it because they never need it.

    I did a search on my blood type years ago and learned that some people seriously believe that AB negative is alien blood, because it is so rare. You know, that would explain a lot . . . 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ya had me hooked with curiosity in how this was gonna go….great post Annie!
    Such a reminder that we have plenty of opportunities to slow down, listen, converse, experience and show Jesus, and make new friends throughout our lifetime.❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve tried to give blood more than once, but I’ve been turned away because it’s a bit hard to find a vein and “stick” it. The first time I tried, the phlebotomist told me, “You’ll hit me if I try.” Oh, well; there are other ways I’ve been able to give. I’m glad you can give in this way, Ann!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Everyone has different ways of giving, Keith. I tried to give plasma once – the procedure that takes a couple of hours. After all that, they told me I had some kind of antibody that would be harmful to certain recipients, and my plasma got thrown out. -_- So, whole blood is my thing. Yes, it is a blessing – much better to be on the giving end than the receiving end.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad you shared this; this is so powerful; I wonder about this with also the parallel of our sharing of the Gospel…and the people in heaven we be surprised that we were part of planting the seeds to people…and they got saved. Its emotional just reading this, what a joy it be in heaven

    Liked by 2 people

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