Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Let Us Never Turn Away A Friend

A man is burdened with what he knows to be a truth. This burden has held him still for some time now. He listens to his Lord and obeys by going to a friend to share with them what has been laid upon his heart. 

This friend he has known for twenty-something years. Many call him Pastor, but this man, he has had the blessing of calling him friend. Isn't this the action of a friend? They are burdened by something not for themselves, but for this very friend they know they must share with sooner and not later. Just maybe there is no time to wait. After all, he is listening to his Lord in obedience. 

This man goes in hopes of sharing with him today. The Lord has said, "Don't put this off". He goes to the church only to be told by the another, "He doesn't see people on Friday or Saturday". Saddened and dismayed by those words, this man is determined. He goes to the house of this friend. There at his home he is told again, "Sorry, he doesn't see people today". This man's burden is now heavier than before. He's trying, but Satan is putting up barriers. 

This man is now praying about what to do. The man's friend sends him a text. "I don't see people on these certain days. If you want to talk you can make an appointment". Reading this text the man is now not only saddened, but deeply wounded. He has called this man friend for so many years. He has made himself available on so many occasions. Would gladly pick up his phone at midnight to aid this friend, but here he is being told he can't be seen. 

What does that say about us when we put off others? How often do we think our own time is more precious? See, this man so intent on sharing with his friend didn't think about himself. He was just getting off work and his mind and heart were upon his friend. If the tables turned he would want his friend to come to him. Wouldn't we all? 

We value our own time. We work through the week. We set our hours. We place up boundaries. All of this is well and good, but what does it say when we cannot spare a few moments for a friend? A friend that is concerned? A friend walking in love and giving of his own time?

We close ourselves off to a world that is trying to reach us. How often do we not make time for people only to never have a second chance? See, this man, he may never know just what this friend was going to share with him. Man to man, heart to heart. Now there is a void space. 

I can understand setting a schedule for business. I can understand not coming to the door for the UPS man. I can understand not being able to pick up the phone when it first rings because of course we can be in the middle of something. But to totally turn away a friend? This wasn't business. This was all heart in total obedience to the Lord. The saddest thing that wounded this man was that this wasn't anything about him. He was there, being the giver, opening himself up, in total obedience, to share something he would want shared with him.

So often we don't give people our time. As a pastor, ministry is about giving time to people. We say one thing about always being present. Always being available. But then our walk speaks of something totally different. We close our door unless it is convenient for us. 

As believers we are to be in the people business as God is in the heart business. He often calls another to a brother or sister in Christ to give opening for an unexpected blessing, a warning, a message of hope, friendship shared in a new way. As we give of ourselves it gives room for God to do a mighty work. 

This moment in time wasn't an invasion or an intrusion. It was one man going to another in hopes of opening the door to what God had set in motion. As this man may never know what the other had to share, this friend will continue in prayer and seek God about the matter he was to share, but was turned away. 

Friendship goes beyond the church doors. It goes far past times available. Friendship is to be everlasting. It isn't to take advantage, but to be willing. It is to take time out of your own to make way for the heart of another. Don't miss out on friendship. Oh, for one to share their heart with us? Might we feel honored and humbled. Might we want to share a moment that we can never get back. May we be the friend to others that we too so hope for in those we call friend. 

Let us always take every opportunity to make room for another. We invest in others. Never thinking that our time is only our own, but that our time belongs to Christ. When given room He takes in inopportune time and creates something memorable and lasting. We will never know the impact of moments given unless we take time to recognize them for what they truly are.

What can we learn from this man's journey? We can learn to always be obedient to the Lord. No matter how we are perceived or received we are to remain faithful to the Lord. All may seem void to us when we are not given the opportunity to follow through, but God is never void in His mission. He may use another to complete this heart mission. As another may now step in obedience, this man will already be in prayer for God to continue to move and be given the opportunity to see this through. Faith is putting our feet into action. 

There are times when our priorities are all mixed up. We can say we are always available, but our actions speak otherwise. Some talk to you in their free time and others free their time to talk with you. 

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

"Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." Ephesians 4:5-6


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