Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Someone Throw This Dog A Bone

Wilson needs a friend and a bone.
Have you ever lost a good friend?  Lately, it seems that God is calling some of mine to different seasons in their life. And feels like giant, huge, chasm-like void since they have left because I connected with each of them on a more significant level of friendship. 

Friendships are something that have to be built. Companionship is built on trust. That inner-circle-trust-type-of-bond through adversity junky stuff that sticks with you closer than a brother type of friendship. I have the comfort in knowing that a listening ear is just a call or text away.  That really helps as I try not to think about the distance their move has caused.

These shifts have caused me to think about what I value in relationships.  Making friends doesn't come so easy as it looks for me, so that's why I need to pray for godly relationships so that God will surround my heart with His goodness, ones that will encourage, build up and not tear down, and will love me like I am.  

Are long distance friendships or relationships easy for anyone? 

It's tough when you have to bridge friendships over miles. There are some lonely dog-day times.  There are those days when you feel left out and excluded from every great friendship in the world, or at least feel like the last dog sitting alone in your living room with no one else around.  So empty inside.  Bewildered and overwhelmed and not to mention....lonely and you can't remember where you buried your best dog bone either.

I am not friendless but I will only confide in a few. For me, there has to be a certain level of protection to my private stuff. I will share in the most personal way, but you don't need to know everything about me. I tell God most of my secrets. It's a blessing to have friends, those that wear the skin of Jesus.

So look around and count your friends. And then thank them for being one to you. Think about could die your whole life alone with um...say 21 cats and no friends. That is a mental image I just soon forget. And what about those feelings of loneliness?  God didn't create us to be alone or to be friendless. He created us to need each other. He has given us each different friend skills. To one of my best friends, He gave her the gift of listening. That's a great thing...because every time we are together she gets an ear full from me. Another friend has the uncanny gift of prayer and encouragement...yup, guess what I heepin' dose of...those attributes too.

See how this works? If you want friends you have to be a friend. And to maintain friendships you have to work hard through the tough rough adversity times when you won't agree, or see issues the same. And you have to build the bridge of relationships that matter and choose godly ones that will edify the body of Christ in the process.  Ask God to show you the trusty and friendly bonds He would have for you because you need friends you can depend on.  There are some deep-seated and godly relationships and friendships waiting for you.

Be willing to go the extra mile for them.  Be an investor in relationships.  It's the one of the unspoken need of most humans.  One will need them to span the miles for you. Make time investments in building long lasting community. Be real, be a real friend that brings love to their troubled waters.  Love....them like they are, so they will love you like you are.

Believe's hard work but worth it. The next time you need a kleenex because life slapped you hard in the face, you will wish you would have a few more friends. They will come running with their hands open wide,  carrying coffee and a muffin to make things better.  They are willing to help you get back up, and dust the dirt off.  It's nice to have a hand up out of the pits of life.  And then extend the hand of friendship to the lonely, the alone, the needy, the afflicted, the journeyman, the watchman at the gates, the missionaries, the concert-lovers, the life givers.  Surround yourself with those who will follow you to the mission field and back.  

Explore the gift of friendships, of investing in community. Befriend, be a broken vessel for God's friendship to flow through. Listen, be patient, love. It's needed and wanted. By each and every person you meet.

Be the friend you want to meet, be the friend you need in your own life.
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