Jan 21, 2015

Friends in low places....

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As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

At the end of this month, I will be turning 40. GULP.

Actually, I am excited! My thirties have been good, but I am ready for something new. A new decade, here we come!

While we read in the book of Job, and listen to the incredible insensitive lectures by his friends, I am reminded of something. Friendship.

Friendship is important. Friendships are valuable. Friendships can breathe life into a weary heart.

On the contrary, they can steal life from a weary heart as well. As in the case of Job's friends. Sigh.

Turning 40 soon reminds me of the priceless gifts of true friendship. I believe good friends are a gift from the Lord.

In my thirties, friendship was important. However, raising kids, and the busyness [chaos!] of life in this season, caused friendships to often get the back burner.

Good friendships outlast the back burner. Good friendships know and believe that seasons soon change, and the back burner will get more attention sooner or later.

For many years, I have prayed for God to hand pick my friends. I have journaled notes to Him asking Him to please lead me to friends that He would want for me. Friendships that honor Him.

Not only this, but I often ask Him to help make me a good friend. If I am not a good friend, it will be hard to find a good friend.

I have failed miserably at times in the friendship department. Not intentionally, of course. But, I have failed none the less.

True friendships get past the mess ups. True friendships forgive. And forgive easily. True friendships believe the best. Even when it's hard.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7

The Lord created us for fellowship. He created us to need each other. In His beautiful way, He created people to love each other. Encourage each other. Cheer for each other. Cry with each other. Laugh with each other.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

The things about friendship is that we often emulate who we hang out with. I preach this to my children more times than they care to remember.

We must be wise in our friendships. We must seek Him for guidance in this area. He wants our friendships to thrive.

A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 

When my friend Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer this Summer, everything about friendship and my perspective on it changed. Drastically.

I was faced with guilt. Have I been a good friend? Am I a good friend to her? Have I shown her how much I appreciate her and enjoy her precious friendship?

When a friend's sickness knocks you in the face, suddenly you grow up. You forget about the dumb stuff. You put on your big girl panties whether you are ready or not.

Life is too short for holding onto grudges. Or guilt. Or unforgiveness.

Friendship is about showing love. Showing grace. Showing forgiveness. Showing gratitude. Showing up.

We shouldn't feel guilty about not being able to do "enough".  I have lived this over an over. 

"Am I doing enough? Am I being a good enough friend?Did I say too much? Did I say too little?"

Man, that kind of thinking will stress you out!

True friends don't measure "enough". They are just happy to see you when they can. They celebrate when you celebrate. They cry when you cry. They love you where you are--even if it's not a great place. They believe the best of the things that you said, or didn't say. They help others to believe the best of you as well.

So, as we move into this day, my prayer is that God will overwhelm you with sweet friendships. The kind that make you feel better and not worse. The kind that hold your arms up over your head for you when you are too weary to hold them up. Just like Aaron and Hur did for Moses.

As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset. Exodus 17:11-12

Oh, y'all! Who doesn't want an Aaron and a Hur holding our weary arms up when we grow tired?

It IS possible to have friends like these. Pray for them. Ask for them. He will answer you.

"When they call on me, I will answer them..." Psalm 91:15

your friend,


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