Good friends.

April 6, 2010

“Good friends are among our greatest blessings — they may keep us back from much evil, quicken us in our course, speak a word in season, draw us upward, and draw us on.” (J.C. Ryle)

I’ve been so blessed in the way of friendships.  In my pride, I often think I can make it on my own.  I think I can help others without being helped, pray for others without being prayed for, and bear others’ burdens while shouldering all of my own all by myself.  Pride, pride, pride — I know.  And stupidity.  (All, sin.)

But yesterday, I was ready to crack under the pressure of different burdens.  The burdens felt so oppressive, as if I had actual physical weights on my chest.  I’d been fighting the Enemy’s lies, but I found it harder and harder to keep fighting.  Little by little, I started to succumb to his lies — that the gospel wasn’t really that powerful, that circumstances could never change, that sometimes sin (not God) had the final say, and that no one (not even God) could transform hearts that have been resistant for so long.

In all of this, what scared me more was that I felt more hard than broken.  And I couldn’t shake it.

So I called a friend — one I love dearly.  I wasn’t selective; I just scrolled through my recent phone list and her name came up first.  And as the phone started to ring, I broke down.  I didn’t say much, but she already knew.  We’ve walked each other through these times before.  She cried with me and prayed with me — for a long time.  She carried me to His throne of grace; she helped shoulder my burden with me and pleaded with God on my behalf and on behalf of those I love.  We remembered the gospel together.  We remembered the God of the gospel together.  We remembered His promises together.

Praise, praise God for friends.  They are among our greatest blessings.  We can’t run this course alone.  We can’t fight this battle alone.  We can’t bear up under pressure alone.  I’m glad it’s that way.  And I’m thankful He remembers our frame, even when we don’t.

Friends cannot do the work of His Spirit in our hearts.  They cannot do what only God can.  But good friends who point us (and when necessary, carry us) to our divine Friend are precious, precious gifts.

Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. (Proverbs 27:9)

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?  And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

(p.s. I thought I’d add that one friendship doesn’t nullify the potential or value of another.  Just because I speak so lovingly of this friend doesn’t necessarily mean my heart is closed to other friendships, equally precious.  Isn’t that the beauty of loving one another as Christ loved us?  It doesn’t close but opens and widens our hearts.)


10 Responses to “Good friends.”

  1. Praise God for the gift of friendship. Let the holy spirit continue to lead your heart Tia. Continue to be broken and humbled. Keep fighting. Thankful for you as a sister in Christ.

  2. Tia Says:

    thanks for the encouragement, aj :]

  3. court Says:

    I can’ wait till i’m a nearby-ish friend.

  4. Veronica Says:

    I completely feel you Tia! Friends are truly a gift

  5. Tia Says:

    court, yippyyyyyy!! :]]]]

    vern, (huuuuuug)

  6. Cassie Says:

    Friends are definitely one way God reveals Himself to us. Sometimes when my friends are counseling me, it’s like the seeing the Spirit with skin on (if that’s not sacrilege!)

  7. Tia Says:

    cass, between skin and sim ….. haha, jaykay. love my redhead revolutionary ❤

  8. John Says:

    As someone who finds great joy in quality time with friends, I read this and was immediately taken back to more conversations than I can count where a good friend picked me up and pointed me toward Jesus. Thank God for good friends.

  9. Ji Young Says:

    Tia…this entry really hit me. Friends are truly a gift from God. I, too, tend to be prideful and not want to burden others with my problems…but as you live life you learn that God has placed them in your life to bear them with and alongside you. ❤

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