Love Deeply

Love Deeply

The perilous journey of friendships has taken my tender heart and head for a spin time and time again.  Friends come and go like waves upon the sand; they stay long enough to leave a mark then vanish just as quickly as appear.  My personality says, ‘once a friend,  always a friend’, the reality is…finding and maintaining one true friend is one of the most difficult things to do.

As a teen, I remember learning a song by Michael W. Smith called “Friends.” It taught me, “A friend’s a friend forever, if the Lord’s the Lord of them, and a friend will not say never ’cause the welcome will not end.”  I grew up believing that just because you’re Christians, that friends would be friends forever!

We all have that deep yearning to be loved and accepted as we are…to know we are important and we matter to someone.  God created us that way.  Finding a kindred friend to reciprocate that kind of love in ministry relationships can truly be a difficult road.  Now experiencing ministry for 8 years, the song that plays now is, “I’m so lonesome I could cry” by Hank Williams Jr!

In college, I learned a profound and life-changing lesson.  A guest speaker had come to our chapel time and spoke on living a life of surrender to the Lord.  By the end of the service, she had spoken these words, “Nail pierced hands can’t hold on to anything too tightly.”

When he was up there on the cross, he was open and laid bare. In his humblest and most vulnerable state, dying in pain, and grief.  In brokenness, he hung there on the cross with his hands wide open.  He could only trust that His Father was in control.

One thing I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I don’t like to lose control.  I tried to hold on to friends for dear life as they painfully and slowly slipped through my fingers.  People would leave my church and my life and there I was grieving as though I had lost a loved one to the grave.  I knew if I did not hear from God about this matter, the years ahead would be unbearable.

A few years later, I was seeking God’s heart for answers about how to get through ministry life with these friendship challenges.  God brought me to I Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply.” And in I Thessalonians 4:9 it says, “Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.”

So easy to read…so hard to live.

We can only do it through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Without his help we will never be able to love one another as is commanded!  As the verse states, we have been “taught by God to love each other.”
Unfortunately, it’s not just something that one day you’ll have uploaded to your brain, it’s a daily trust in our awesome Creator.  A steady reliance upon the Holy Spirit leading us to those we need and those who need us.

He will bring the friendships that we need in whatever season of life we are facing.
We are to hold our hands open, to trust that God will bring those friendships in his perfect plan.

Prayer: God, I need your help to love others deeply as you have commanded me to.  I rely on you Holy Spirit to teach and lead me, Amen.


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