What do you like about her? How long have you known her? How well do you know her and she you? Why is she your friend?
I'm sure many memories came flooding into your mind as you pictured your friend. God has blessed me with some truly dear friends during my life time. Having grown up in the same location, I had the treat of developing a long history with friends from Kindergarten through 12th grade. One friend was even in the hospital nursery with me (according to my mom, not my memory)! But, when I moved away to college and then to many more places after that, I had to start all over...each time. Do you know how intimidating that is? On the other hand, do you know how fun it is to meet new and fascinating people? I've learned so much from my friends. I'm grateful.
But, even as we remember our dear friendships, there are those we have lost as well. Maybe we've lost them through neglect, through the passage of time and different interests, through death, through an argument. Countless reasons could be listed for those friends who exist now only in our memories.
Here's what comes to mind when I think about friendship...
- Friends are a gift from God and we better not toss the gift aside or take it for granted. What do your friends enjoy? Bless them unexpectedly. Send them a snail-mail card. Lavish some encouragement on them. Take some crazy selfies. Go on a trip together. Whatever you do, love on those friends and nurture those relationships.
- While friends encourage us, strengthen us and pray for us, we must acknowledge the reality that satan despises this friendship-gift from God and tries bitterly to destroy us. Be on guard and keep short accounts and be quick to forgive. Why would the enemy want us to be strengthened through the prayers of dear friends? How can he let sister friends build the kingdom of God mightily together? He must kill, steal and destroy and we must protect our friendships from the evil one at all costs.
- Vulnerability is an absolute. Do you speak into people's lives? Do you share advice and give help where able? That's great. But, be mindful to keep your relationships from becoming lop-sided. If no one is speaking hard truths into your life, if you can't be heart-ripped wide open with another person, then you're holding back...and you're missing out.
God is so kind in giving us a taste of His love and care for us through friendships. I pray that you will have a friend who helps you grow in your love for Christ, a friend who spurs you on to love and good deeds.
A friend loves at all times... Proverbs 17:17