As we continue to plunge into relationships, I keep thinking about what characteristics in friends I truly appreciate and realise that friends are definitely a gift from God. They are there at exactly the right times in our lives, for various seasons, even days when we need them the most. To encourage us, support us, make us not feel alone, that we are ‘normal’ and that there is more to life than just our self-centred life.
Friends provide so many different characteristics that appeal to us. Some may be extremely helpful in various ways, they make us laugh, we can trust them with our deeper thoughts and feelings, they may pray for us in good and bad times, they can keep us accountable and be honest. There are so many facets that can make up a friend and thankfully each of our friends is uniquely different and offers such a variety of things that make the world interesting. Could you imagine having all your friends with the same qualities?!?!?
One thing that stands out to me is that all of these God given gifts are exactly what God is. He is the ultimate friend, taking every opportunity in our lives to be there, love us, provide for us, listen to our problems, excitements and disappointments. To me the one thing that truly defines God as a great ‘friend’ is that he is faithful. No matter what or where the situation, God is always present and ready to set in place what we need. He will not walk away and cares about every aspect of our lives. I have really seen this in many places in my own life….When we were in financial need…God provided just the amounts we needed, when I have miscarried..God provided just the right people in my time of need and was my sounding board when I couldn’t make sense of the situation…When my marriage has been on shaky ground..God has answered my prayers for wisdom.
Plunging into relationships can be a risky business, but is definitely worthwhile for our own growth and survival in our world. Think about what qualities you appreciate in your friends and be thankful. God has given you just what you need and if you feel that you need more in friends, don’t be afraid to talk to him and ask for more. I pray that as we continue ‘plunging’ that you might continue to assess your relationships and particularly that you would recognise the gift that we have with a God who truly is the ultimate friend.
Mt Louisa, QLD