The Precious Gift of Friendship
By Britta Lafont
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV
For the early part of my husband’s military career, we moved often and did not make close connections. We tried. And we had good excuses… but it was, by all accounts a true “Desert Experience”.
This isolation made our family the main place of Christian fellowship, which is a good thing. Still, our times of drought increased our desire for refreshing relationships. We especially desired the Christian friendships between families where connections are made between all members of both families. In the past, we have only had brief (and precious) glimpses of this.
Ironically, in the Arizona desert, God has opened the floodgates.
What is the difference?
I could tell you that it was because I found the "right" homeschool group. I could say we chose the "right" church. And I could say that my prayers, the cries of my heart, were heard. But the truth is, it is God's timing. It is His blessing, at this time, that I am enjoying.
I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. Romans 9:15-16 NIV
And so I see these people in our lives... and this is what I constantly tell my children... these people are gifts, precious gifts.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 NIV
What I have learned from moving around, and having to make new friends regularly, is to:
- be thankful to the Lord for His companionship when times of Christian fellowship are lean
- "keep" your keepers...making the effort to stay in touch with close friends, even when they are not geographically close
- accept all relationships as God's perfect gift for you, even though these gifts come in the form of imperfect people
- know that the seasons of life fluctuate, so the difficult loneliness will pass, and the abundance of friendships will pass. He has called us to live right where we are, and be grateful for where He has placed us.
Take stock of your current situation.
Are you living in the land of plenty, as far as friendships are concerned?
Well, count your blessings, one by one! And if there are some people that you don’t particularly enjoy… remember these are gifts from God too, so count them as precious.
God is the best Giver, don’t doubt that! But if you find yourself in a dry spell, a period of loneliness and isolation, remember that YOU ARE NEVER ALONE:
It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV
And Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 28:20… the most precious gift of friendship!
Dear Lord, help us to be good stewards of the relationships that you gift to us. Some friends are easier to love than others. Remind us that You love all of us equally. Help us to be grateful for the situation in which You have placed us. Help us to invest in and enjoy our friendship with You, most of all.
For more encouragement, visit Britta at brittalafont.com
© 2020 by Britta Lafont. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Wednesday, 01 February 2023.