“It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.” Philippians 4:14 (MSG)
I looked in her eyes and I saw pain. Not for herself but for me. My dear friend shared in my troubles as I have shared in hers over the years.
Girlfriends are a necessity, don’t you think? I’m not talking about friends that happen to be girls. I’m talking about Lucy and Ethel, Laverne and Shirley, Monica, Phoebe and Rachel…
They share in our troubles, they laugh with us, cry with us, get mad with us and hold our hand quietly as we mourn. As I stood beside my dad’s casket, Carol sat quietly behind me. She handed me tissues and Altoids without me asking. She just knew.
In this world of #selfies and the emphasis on “me” that Facebook brings, we must be intentional with those around us. It really is more important to know what’s on our friends minds instead of voicing what’s on ours. Social media is fun and a great way to share what God’s doing in our lives. If we are not careful though, we confuse our 700 cyber friends with relationship. Did you know there is a “virtual boyfriend” app?, “For $24.99 a month you can immediately feel the effects of a rewarding virtual partner.” Rewarding effects?
When we need comfort, our phone, computer or virtual friend will feel a bit hollow. Each Sunday night at our church we are invited to come forward for an intimate time of prayer – women to the left and men to the right. We hold hands, hug necks, share tears and send prayers up for each other. Sunday night as many of us stood with tears streaming, we experienced in action what Paul spoke of in Philippians. The beauty of friendship happens when we change our focus from me to she.
Rick Warren probably said it best on the first page – first line of his book, The Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not about you”. What? Being selfless doesn’t come naturally for most of us. When Christ tells us in the book of Matthew to deny ourselves and that to save our lives we must lose them, it is not a pleasing thought. I’m not always thrilled when I must do what’s best for our family versus what feels right at the moment. Or what’s best for ministry or my church or my friend or…for God.
Quoting Suzie Eller, Proverbs 31 Ministries, “#Denyingmyselfie is putting the me factor aside long enough to find the God factor instead.” I agree Suzie. Looking for the God factor shakes us out of the stupor of self absorption where we are most comfortable.
When we are then fully awake, we can truly see that it’s really not about us, it’s about Him. Placing life in that order means that when I think I have lost, I have really gained.
Love sharing with these communities of writers…