I’ve been doing a little mini-series on Friendship. Sometimes we forget how important our friends are to us. I love that this series made me stop and reflect and be thankful for the friends God has put in my life.
If you’re new to this mini-series, you can catch up on the previous posts at your leisure. Below are a list of links.
The degeneration of hope is in the loneliness.
Someone made that statement at the conference I attended this past weekend. Unfortunately I don’t remember who said it. All I know is that I was busy jotting down the words that made so much sense to me.
Loneliness wears on you. Well, I don’t really know about you, but it wears on me. I like to be with people. I’m encouraged by them and challenged by them. They spur me on to do the things I thought impossible. They balance me and excite me. Sometimes they get on my nerves, but they all have a purpose.
Have you experienced it for an extended time? I’m not just talking about two hours to yourself or a quiet dinner alone. I’m talking true loneliness – the absence of a friend and an encourager.
I think this has been my biggest problem for the last several years. I just don’t have that person I connect with, that friend to laugh with and shop with and learn from and study with. The friend who pops in for no reason other than she needs a coffee chat. The friend whose family we can spontaneously have over for dinner and feed hot dogs. The comfortable kind of friend that says no matter what, I’m here.
That’s not to discredit the people I do have in my life who are good and kind to me, friends in their own right. Please understand that.
There are just those friends who come along a few times in life, maybe even just for a season, who really understand who you are – bosom friends as Anne of Green Gables would say.
It’s nice to have someone close, because as wonderful and lifelong as faraway friends can be, we all need someone for the everyday.
If you have a friend like that in your life right now, thank God for that person. She strengthens your hope.
As the above quote runs through my mind again and again, I can’t help but think of the Bible story with Moses and his two friends. Maybe you’re familiar with the story and maybe not, but Moses and the Israelites were in a battle with Amalek. When Moses held up his hand, Israel was winning, but when his arm dropped, Amelek got the upper hand.
For some reason, this story makes me think of a sports team in an arena. When they are winning the crowd is on their feet, cheering and encouraging and celebrating; however, when they begin to lose, the crowd suddenly sits down and shuts up.
Moses got tired, like so many of us do when we’re in a battle, and he couldn’t keep those arms up any longer, so the Bible says that Aaron and Hur got a stone for Moses to sit on and one of these guys got on either side of him and held up his arms until a victory was secure. You can read the whole story in Exodus chapter 17.
Moses and the Israelites didn’t lose hope, because Moses had two friends who came alongside him and encouraged him. I’m pretty sure they wore themselves out making sure Moses was successful.
That’s what friends are for, to celebrate with us, cry with us, and get in the battle alongside us.
The degeneration of hope is the loneliness, but their is strength and power in friendship.
Can you think of a time when a friend came alongside you and held up your arms when you were weary? Feel free to share your story in the comments.