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.