"Friends are friends forever, if the Lord is the Lord of them . . ." So goes the Michael W. Smith song. The first time I heard it I was at a MOPS meeting. It's been one of my favorites ever since. But, is it true?
Colossians 3:15 says, "Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace."
We are to live together. Clearly, life is meant to be shared.
Too many of us miss the blessed gift of friendship. There are lots of reasons why, but none of them are good. Most of my life I've had special friends. Through the years, we've shared many great moments and had so much fun. We've done silly stuff and stood together through turbulent seas. Some of my friends I've had since grade school. Though I rarely see them these days my love for these long-time friends has not weakened. But distant friendships is not enough - not if we're supposed to share our lives as the Lord says we are.
Years ago at a home group meeting a question was posed. "How many of you spend time with a friend on a regular basis?" Not one person out of the group of eighteen or twenty people raised their hand, and that included me. The painful truth hit me between the eyes and I vowed to make a change. But the days slipped by and I forgot about that promise.
When I damaged my back further by lifting a thirty-five pound puppy I spent a week in the hospital and months trying to regain the strength and mobility to get back in motion. I'm still working on it. I was unable to join in the fun activities of my church and gradually my friends drifted away.
It's not really their fault. It's mine. Though I couldn't do what I used to do, I could have been more hospitable and invited friends in. But I didn't. There are lots of reasons, some of them valid, but in the end I lost something of great value.
In recent days it seems that wherever I turn I'm reminded of the importance of friendship. It was made clear to me that rebuilding my friendships is up to me. And so, I've begun. And I've had some lovely encounters with dear friends. I plan to have more.
Friendships are like spring flowers that add life and color after the chill of winter. They are like cooling raindrops on a parched summer day. We need one another. God has designed us to live together. Reach out, nourish your friendships, rebuild old ones and discover new ones. You won't be sorry.
Grace and peace to you from God,