March 07, 2011

Need a Friend?

Have you ever felt like you really needed a friend?  The other day I was thinking about a young lady I know who has had a very difficult childhood.  She lives alone these days and struggles with depression.  In her particular case the depression is genetic but her childhood experiences did not help her already delicate state of being. 

To top things off she has also had a difficult time making friends in my city.  Even within the church she has found that it is not easy to make friends.  People tend to remain in their "clicks"and don't seem to be particularly fond of including anyone else.

I use to go to church believing that people should notice me and be friendly to me. But I don't believe that anymore. Going to church for me now means obeying what God has asked me to do, even when I don't feel like it.  And now I realize that I have to be what I imagine a Christian should be, regardless of whether-or-not anyone else around me is.  

I too know the pain of depression and not " fitting in."  I know what it feels like to want friendship... even just one friend, and not find any. And for a time I pitied myself.  And after I would mope about my situation I would get angry at all the people who "didn't care" about me. I felt betrayed and unloved.

But praise God He didn't let me stay there!  He reminded me that I am responsible for the condition of my own heart in His eyes.  If I harbor bitterness and anger it is because I choose to do so and that choice cannot be put on anyone else's shoulders.  Even those who didn't accept me.  

I realized soon after that I had to change.  If I really loved God then I had to show it by my actions and that included obeying Him.  So I started going back to church.  It was hard at first... some weeks it still is.  But every time I went in obedience God brought people into my life who encouraged me, or taught me, or who needed my help.  


God has shown me that in order to have friends I first must be willing to be a friend and reach out to those who are lonely.  Stepping into the pain of others doesn't seem very logical or desirable.  But that is exactly what Jesus did over and over again when he lived on Earth as one of us.  He took part in our suffering and our misery and he didn't think himself "above" all of it.  He was humble.

I can never be like Jesus but I try to emulate his example in my own unique way. I started reaching out to the lonely and depressed young lady.  And it hasn't always been easy.  There have been times when I  had to fight back the tears because her situation is so sad.  I have had to listen to her tell me of her sorrows and disappointments. And there have been times when I prepare to contact her that I fear I might be rejected and then I am tempted not to even try.

But I have noticed that when I take time to be with her she becomes uplifted.  She smiles, she laughs.  And God has shown me that this is what it means to be a Christian.  Setting aside our own desire we are to shoulder one another's burdens and display love.  

" As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." ~ Colossians 3: 12 + 14

Do you need a friend? Then become one to someone who needs a friend and watch how God will bless your efforts if you stick to it.


Terri Tiffany said...

I too understand that need for friends. When I lived back in PA, I had so many, and loved to meet new ones. After moving to Fl, I found this area to be different, and churches so large it was hard to connect. A few months back, we started attending a smaller church. It's a place where one can reach out and see needs. Hopefully, friendships will come next:)

lgsquirrel said...

When I was younger, I did move around a lot and went to different communities and also different churches. God was gracious in giving me good friends everywhere I went but I totally agree with your observation that God blesses us even more when we obey Him and try to demonstrate love to others. At least two things happen. One, we move away from self centred pity. Two, when we express love, love is also returned to us.


Terri: Im sure you will be able to make a few friends. Keep serving the Lord and it will happen. I'm glad to hear that you found a church where you feel you can serve. :)

Mr. LGS: Yes and yes!

Jo said...

OH, what a beautiful post. I value my friends. I have always thought of friends as God's guardian angels.

By the way, you have the CUTEST avatar in the blogging world. I LOVE Siamese cats. :-)


Jo: Why thank you! :D My avatar is my kitty cat Angel Eyes. She saw me hold up the camera and posed for me. She even stayed sitting pretty for several moments after I put the camera away.

Amrita said...

Thank you Sincerity for coming by my blog.

In my growing up years i did not have many friends due to my handicaps - it was hard to keep up with other kids. But i was not not friendlass.

Later on God gave me some very good faithful friends.


Amrita: God is faithful to us isn't He? It always makes me happy to hear how He has helped and continues to us.