Friday, April 28, 2017

Complete Joy in Friendship

Philippians 2: 1-2 If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose... 

A conversation took place this week between me and one of my closest friends. We talk almost everyday and even when we don't, I know, she knows, that our thoughts aren't far away from each other. I even texted her a question, a text she never received because she didn't have her phone with her, but she answered me anyway...10 minutes after I texted, on a different device. Yeah---we're just connected that way. 

Anyway, as we shared this week about other people we love and are praying for--all this stuff and heartache, people in desperate situations, health dilemmas, and ongoing family separations, we agreed, it is all so hard, but it is our choice--that we feel deeply, petition, encourage one another, hope together and love one another because the other alternative is isolation. We wouldn't have each other or the beautiful relationship and trust God ordained. Friendships with Christ at the center blooms continuously out the window of our souls, a creative, tangible view of God at work. 

Isolation: No true, authentic friendships in which one can share the deepest of hurts, frustrations, fears, prayers, intimate insights, JOY and HOPE from God. I am sure there are a number of reasons why this happens, but God doesn't intend our lives to be that way. Hope comes from seeing it in another and then believing it for yourself. It is a promise from God. God also instructed us to live in fellowship with one another. 

There is always, always HOPE.

I cannot imagine my life without these close friends who all are dealing with pain of some sort. We talk every day, share every day, pray for one another every day and love God in and with each other every day. God is good. I am hurting for all of them. I cry to God. They have done that for me--do that for me now. I know. I know I am deeply loved and cared for by each one of them in their unique and gifted ways. I learn and see God beautifully in my life through these women of faith. 

In His timing and sovereignty, God will make a way. Then, we will again, feel deeply and cry, rejoicing and praising our Heavenly Father for His divine intervention and our growth in trusting Him. 

It is a choice--to have a deep, intimate, authentic relationship with the Lord or to isolate yourself in your sorrows, disappointments and fears and pretend that nothing matters outside your own bubble of hurt. Eventually, I think, that just might turn into resentment and a very lonely existence. 

One small step of trust, one tiny but faithful prayer to lead you to a true and trusted friend, might just find you surrounded in a circle of deep and passionate relationships who will be your warriors when times are desperate or when joy is over flowing in your heart. It must go somewhere and to me there is no better feeling then praising God with friends who have prayed right along side for God to make Himself known. 

Lord, tonight I pray for the isolated, the hurt, the lonley souls that do not or choose not to trust in friendships. We are still abiding on this earth, thus we are not perfected yet, but God desires for us to live in unity and fellowship, and we must trust Him for the right people alongside us. Help me Lord to be the kind of friend that encourages and prays unceasingly for my friends and believes in all things good, that Your Hope and Your Joy are awaiting us. Thank You Lord that I, that we have seen it and we await for it again. We wait to plan a party! Amen. 

Brother (or Sister)