I Need Her
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34 (NIV)
The text message read: I don't care how busy you are, Suzie. Put me on your calendar. You need me.
Sometimes friendship gets last place in my life. My parents need me more than they once did. I have children and grandchildren in three states. I juggle ministry, relationships, and real life.
But my friend is right. I need her.
I love it when we get together over lunch. We laugh. We catch up with each other's life. Often, we find ourselves talking about God. We dig deep, asking questions, praying and encouraging each other.
So why do I let this really great friendship slide to last place?
In John 13, Jesus commands the disciples to love each other. Jesus didn't drop commandments lightly. There are only a few, rare instances in Scripture, but you see, He knew something they did not. They needed each other. One day soon He would return to Heaven. Though His love would always be with them, His physical presence would not. And hard times were ahead.
But it went even deeper than that. "As I have loved you, so you must love one another," He said.
What did that look like?
When Peter denied he ever knew Jesus as his beloved Savior, he stumbled from the scene weeping. Can you imagine how he felt?
To love Peter "as Jesus did" meant that his friends wouldn't give up on him. They would remind him of Jesus' love and forgiveness. They would point him toward redemption and grace.
C. S. Lewis, author and professor, said, "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."
We were never intended to live our faith in isolation. God and girlfriends are not just fun. They are needed. In good times. In hard times. When we are living with purpose. When we falter.
You may be reading this and thinking, I don't have a friend who texts or calls me. I wish I had a friend like that. If so, why not pray and ask God for one person you know who needs someone to reach out to them. Sometimes we have to be the friend we wish we had; taking the first steps toward the friendships we need.
I have made myself a promise today. I will work on this gift called friendship. I won't allow a week or a month to go by without a lunch date, or at the minimum a conversation. In fact, I just texted my friend: I don't care how busy I am, friend. Let's make a date. I need you.
Dear Lord, thank You for my friend. I get so busy that I put her last. Give me wisdom to know how to nurture this part of my life. Help me to love my friend the way You love me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
"One thing I know for sure: We were never created to go it alone...If we attempt to face life's complexities alone, our heart and hope will shrivel. God has created us for community—for belonging." Julie Barnhill, Exquisite Hope
Have you lost contact with a friend? Why not send her a note or call her? Set a date and a time to get together.
Philippians 2:4, "Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." (NLT)
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