by Bethany Lashbrook
This Week’s Verse: John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”(NIV)
Growing up in Marshall, I had the same friends from kindergarten all the way through high school. After parting from Marshall for several years to pursue a degree and start a family, Clint and I made the hard decision to move back home and raise our family in the town we both grew up in. I was excited. I had history in Marshall—friends—and we would just pick right up where we left off. Or so I thought.
Truth was, these girls were still all my friends, but we had grown apart. We were still (mostly) the same people, with the same characteristics, yet we had all changed. I was devastated. I never thought I would live in my hometown and be struggling to make a connection with anyone.
For a couple of years, I prayed to find my "best" friend again. I prayed and prayed that I wouldn’t feel so lonely and would regain that bond of friendship that every woman needs in her life. And, like I have said recently, “If you ask, He will give!” My, has the Lord provided friends for me! And not just one best friend, but many good friends that I lean on for support!
I have the Tell-it-like-it-is friend for when I am contemplating doing something un-Christian or un-lady like. Boy, does she ever set me straight—yet in a way I could never get mad! I have the Phone-call friend, who is only a phone call away. If I need something, she has got my back! I have the Praying friends who through the click of a mouse are praying for me all day, all week, or all month if I need. Lord knows I can’t live without these women in my life.
I have the I-never-thought-we-would-be-friends friend who has shocked me with her kindness. I have the Testimony friend who from sharing her testimony with me has helped me begin to understand and share mine. I have the Please-don’t-talk-to-me-about-religion friend whom I adore dearly and who, one day, might decide that my life is just as enticing as hers!
Even though these friends are all different, I know they are just like the friends of the paralytic in Mark 2:1-5. Jesus had entered a town called Capernaum. So many people had heard about Jesus being there, they quickly surrounded him and the home he was preaching in. Meanwhile, four friends carried with them their friend, a paralytic, on a mat to go listen to Jesus preach (or maybe even catch a glimpse of him). Since the crowd was so large, they decided to cut a hole (yes, cut a hole) in the roof, and lower their friend down on his mat straight to Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
Notice, Jesus doesn’t say when he saw “his” faith; he said “their” faith. This man’s friends had so much faith and belief in not only Jesus, but also their friend—and that is why he stood up and walked right out into the crowd! Talk about some awesome friends! And that’s what the Lord has provided me with—some really cool, awesome friends!
Dear Lord, thank you for who you have chosen to place in my life. Thank you for such wonderful friends. Please help me to be just as good a friend to them, as they are to me. In your Son’s name I pray, Amen.
Has the Lord placed another woman on your heart lately? He might just be telling you to talk to her, and get to know her. That first phone call might be a bit scary, but once it is out of the way, the rest are much easier!
Job 2:11, “When Job's three friends heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.”(NIV)
1 John 4:7, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.”(NLT)
Matthew 21:22, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”(NKJV)