Monday, January 14, 2013

Lets Share Coffee

We have all heard of "Fix A Flat". Maybe you have even used it yourself. Usually it works for a while, just until you can replace your tire. It's not meant to hold it forever. Although it covers up that hole that is now present in your tire, you know the repair goes much deeper than just the surface.

I want to share a quote from, Lyn Smith, that I read this morning in my, "LeadHer Challenge Devotional".

"One of the best feelings in the world is when someone stands by you unwaveringly. Some things in life are just plain hard, but nothing is sweeter than a friend who doesn't let you do hard things alone. It takes courage, strength, and selflessness to come alongside someone in their difficulty. A friend like that doesn't preach, criticize, or correct during those times; they simply SHOW UP AND LOVE." Lyn Smith

Lets be honest. There are times we look at a friend and think, "Oh, she needs fixed. I can help her do that." Girls, I have been there more times than I can count. I too have had those friends who thought I needed, "Fixed". But what we must realize that it isn't our job to fix our friend. Our job is to be there for them. To encourage through love and be that shoulder they need. We need to place our friend at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to move in their life. To show Himself clear and precise so they know the road they are traveling is paved with the love of Christ and guidance that only He can provide.

Too many times we offer advice on a circumstance. Advice we have no idea about, because we have not walked that path. This was so evident in my life when my relationship with my daughters was out of control. I was at a loss as what to do and instead of waiting on the Lord I turned to friends. Friends who loved me yes, but friends who gave advice on matters that they simply weren't equipped to give. My mistake wasn't calling on my friends, but simply not waiting on the Lord. In doing so, I feel I made terrible mistakes and walked in a path not yet traveled by my friends.  Now I was alone and feeling helpless.  Waiting on the Lord should have been my first priority, but when your hurting you really don't want to wait. I learned a great deal from that journey. I learned the value of Godly advice and simply praying for a friend when words cannot bring comfort.

We must be careful in how we handle situations with our friends. We are to love them right where they are at that very moment. It's not our job to fix them in the way we think they should be. They don't have to be our twin, but our friend. Simple as that. In Proverbs 17:17 it says, "A friend loves at ALL times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17

Now, I am sure that there are going to be times when our friendships are in need of repair. Friends, we can't just use "Fix A Flat", to bandage it up. We must go deeper below the surface. Friendships are too rare and too valuable to lose just because of a misunderstanding or a difference in opinion. Isn't that what makes us unique? Friendship is being able to say, "We can agree to disagree on this subject".

A friend's job is to simply love. Not judge, not correct and not treat the other as if they know all the answers to their difficulties. A brother is born for those times when adversity arrives. They are there for the hard times. A friend is there always. Not just during the good years, not just during the times of struggle, but always and with a smile of encouragement.

Ruth just may have been the friend of friends! That friend we all want standing at our side. Look at Ruth 1:16 with me. "But Ruth said, "Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law." But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God." Ruth 1:16

Ruth wasn't trying to "Fix" Naomi. She was just simply standing side by side with her. She was selflessly loving her as Jesus loves. We must be willing to love as Jesus loves. We must remember to be the friend we would want. We cannot expect from others what we ourselves are not willing to give.

Think about it. Have you asked a friend to lunch over and over again only to hear, "I am just so busy right now, maybe we can get together later on when things slow down"? Life is always busy. It's really not that hard to spend time with our girlfriend. A friend doesn't just pop in and out of our lives when it's convenient for them. The thing is, we can always make time for a friend. In fact, making time for a friend just might give us the added blessing we need to make it through the busy week ahead.

I know when my husband was laid off for nearly three years I had friends just scatter. I am not sure if they were afraid I would ask them for something or if they were too afraid it was catching. Circumstance is not catching. What I needed were friends to encourage me each day. Friends that would make me giggle and take my mind off things. Friends who would take the time to pray with me. Have you felt lonely during a hard time in your life? I now try to make sure I reach out to my friends who are hurting. I never want to make a friend feel like I did during that time. It was a lonely place I never want to enter into again. Just as when life with my daughters was tough. We don't always need advice. Sometimes we just need a friend to say, "Girl, I am here for you. Lets pray and seek the Lord's wisdom." I just needed friends to listen as I cried and friends who would not judge, but love me through it.

"A friend loves at ALL times, and a brother is born for adversity."
Proverbs 17:17

Sometimes all we need is to giggle with one another. To share a cup of coffee and catch up. Friendship is being able to be yourself and feel comfortable in your own skin even when your friend is the total opposite of you. It's loving even when you don't see, "Eye to eye", and it's stepping in when needed and knowing when to take a step back and give that friend the room she needs.

We are to stand in the gap. Meaning we aren't to gab about what our friend shares, but keep what we share between us and always be in prayer for those friends of the present and the past. Friends come into our lives to make an imprint in our lives. God allows friendships into our lives for a purpose. Each one is unique and special in its own right. We should never take our friendships for granted, but enjoy them and treat them with the love that is needed for those friendships to grow and blossom. Friendships are an extension of the love of Christ. A love that is to be captured and treasured.


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