Friday, July 23, 2010

The Gift of Friendship

Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 4- 6; Acts 9:23-43

“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!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV)

In high school I had a lot of acquaintances, but few close friends. There were a couple of people I enjoyed chatting with, and once in awhile even got together with outside of school, but I never had what you would call a “best friend.” It was only in college that I experienced such a friend for the first time. It was then that I discovered the true value of a friend. Before then I had always held my friends at a distance. I didn’t often let them see the true me deep inside. Perhaps I was afraid that they wouldn’t like what they saw. Perhaps I was afraid that they would no longer be my friend when they discovered who I was really was.

All I know is that, when I opened my heart to friendship, my whole life began to change. I was happier, more content, and drawing closer to God. I began to see the value in having someone I could share my hurts and fears with. I began to see how nice it was to have someone to help me up when I fell. God gave me a great gift when He gave me my college friends, not one I’ll soon forget.

Yet times change. Friends move on. Although I hold those dear friends in my heart, we’re now married, starting our own families, and spread out throughout world. Although we try to stay in touch, things are different then they used to me. I love these dear friends, but I also recognize the need to have friends close at hand whom I can confide in and share my daily life with.

And so the challenge to make friends begins once again. Once again I have to ask God for help as I push down the walls of insecurities that surround me. Once again I have to open up and reveal the true me, even if I get hurt once again. And once again, I stand amazed at how God has already placed new friends in my life for this time and place.

When I read words like those in the verses above, I’m reminded how wonderful friends truly are. They stand beside you through good times and bad. They pray for you, encourage you, and pick you up when you fall. Yes, it’s tough when you open yourself up to someone. And sometimes, you do get hurt. I, too, have lost some friendships along the way. Just the same, I’m so thankful for the friends God gives me for each season of my life. He seems to always know, better than me, what I need and from whom. What a wonderful gift friendship is!

What friends has God blessed you with? What is your favorite thing about those friendships? What has God taught you through these friendships?

1 comment:

  1. I have five friends I consider my circle of "Best Friends." Each of them offer something unique, and I have always felt that they are better friends than I deserve. It is very hard to start over when friends are separated, and I don't like it. Not one bit.

    BUT - I, too, have learned the value of opening my heart to any potential friend in my path. I agree heartily - it is worth it!