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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Friendship - We All Need It!

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly...."
Proverbs 18:24

Have you ever been a place in your life where you feel lonely? A place where you feel like you do not have a friend in the world? I have often felt alone, like I have no one to count on. I know when I feel that way, that it is just a mind game that Satan wants to play with me. If he can cause me to feel lonely, then he has his foothold already in my life. I have to learn to recognize those warning signs early, so I can STOMP him out! No matter what state of life you are in right now - you always have one TRUE friend -  GOD. He loves each one of us very much and the Bible tells us that He will stick closer to us than a brother! Satan wants us to feel lonely so we will be distracted and forget to look to Jesus for all of our needs. During those times I feel lonely, God wants me to get alone and cry out to Him. Tell Him all of my troubles, my sorrows, my fears, my worries, my wants, my desires, my dreams, and my needs. He is my everything - however I often do not allow Him to be. I believe we all need friendships. God created us to be intimate beings. He made us to "connect" with others. He made friendship. He gave us the greatest example of friendship through the life of David and Jonathan.

There are all kinds of friendships out there. First, You have your soul mate - these friends are usually your spouse. This is reserved for one special person. The one who knows you at the most intimate level. The one who knows you like no one else - knows your faults, your flaws, your strengths, your fears, and your character. They are there when the whole world crashes in.  Second, you  have your BFF's - these are the ones I define as "Lucy and Ethel". This is usually reserved for just one or two people in your life. The friend you do everything together with, the one you can speak anything to, and the one you can create the most troublesome situations with. Everyone needs a Lucy or Ethel in their life. They are the ones that make your world feel complete. Thirdly, you have your close friends. These are the friends that you have a handful of. The friends you can hang-out with, go places, have a few laughs, a few tears, share stories, triumphs, struggles, enjoy the day with, and exchange long chats with. You gain encouragement from these friends. Whenever you are blessed to find a group of close friends it seems like the struggles are not as hard and life is a little more fun! Fourthly, you have your "seasonal friends". These are those who are only in your life for a season. You gain connection with these friends and even almost move them to the "Close Friend" group but they fade out of your life before the transition. It is never a harsh departure - just time for another season of life. You keep fond memories and maybe even a distant connection; but never the same again. Fifthly, you have your friends. This is usually your bigger circle. A lot more people fit into this circle. You know them, see them often, but do not know them in a close way. You enjoy their presence and their conversations. Sixth,  you have your Facebook friends. This group can become rather large; sometimes, I think we even may forget who our Facebook kind of friends are. We recognize them when we see them out and about, we remember little details about them like whether they are married or have children. We sometimes "peep" into their lives but never make that point to connect with them in any other way. Seventh,  we have our acquaintances. This group is huge and can sometimes run over into our Facebook Friends group. We know their name but we do not know much about them. We are not even sure if we "like" them; much less, move them to our "Close Friend" group.

The point is, God gives us all of kinds of friendships through out the walk of life to prepare us, to complete us, to encourage us, to rejuvenate us, to grow us, and to sometimes keep us focus. Each group of friends has a purpose, if we allow it and if we choose to see it. Everyone must all start out into the "Acquaintance" group and through interaction and conversations we decide from there which group we file them into. Friendships are important. It is what makes the world go round. We love our families and we can have the best family in the world but sometimes we just need to know that some one has chose us to be their friend. Finding common interest, common strengths, and sometimes finding someone with opposite strengths to help us grow and flourish through out life. But no matter how sociable or how reserve you may be, we must always remember our Best Friend - Jesus. He is there always with open arms no matter how we may fail him, mistreat him, ignore him, or even forget him. He always loves us and is watching us. He cares and he knows everything about us. Don't forget that Friend in your life. Embrace Him, get to know Him; because He already knows everything about you. He is just waiting for you to make that "relationship" with Him. We can never feel lonely again if we choose to make that relationship with Him.