13:31 days of Yes!
Last week my daughter, Amelia was registered to run a race, but she was reluctant–not looking forward to the path ahead. She was visibly carrying a bit of dread. My husband encouraged her to do it anyway. On the morning went, and she tried to put it out of her mind and push through. Nothing seemed to do the trick…until Emily came. Unbeknownst to Amelia, her dear friend came to run the race too. And without missing a beat, my previously anxious daughter bounded off with her friend to enlist in the numbers at the starting line. Not one doubt or fear remained when Emily came.
Isn’t that the power of a good friend? What seemed difficult and painstaking before can soon be done cheerfully and eagerly when a friend is there to walk beside. I didn’t value friendship much in my youth, but as I’ve grown older I have come to appreciate the sweet comfort and strength a godly friend can bring. Friends of youth can easily corrupt and lead astray. They may fill a selfish want to bolster one’s reputation and perhaps even end up detracting from it. Though many of the friendships of my youth seemed deep and important, adding great excitement to my life, I see now that my understanding of their value was dim or altogether misdirected in worldliness. As the years pass, God has blessed me with several godly friends who have walked beside and uplifted me (and I pray me, them).
Godly friendship is a gift from God which spurs us on in the race. Confiding in a friend or confessing a struggle can help keep you following the path, keeping you from deception and danger. Running together brings a measure of camaraderie and strength, making the burden lighter. Friendship brings cheer and laughter, and a needed place to be restored.
I love the image of Christian and Hopeful in Pilgrim’s Progress. When Christian is at a low point, God sends a friend, Hopeful. Though they take a wrong turn, they find the narrow path and spur each other to stay on it. Eventually they are brought to their joyful end.
Therefore here Christian and Hopeful walked with great delight; they also drank of the
water of the River, which they found to be invigorating to their weary spirits. Furthermore, on either side, the banks of this River
had green trees that bore every variety of fruit; and the leaves of the trees had good medicinal value.
Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan
As busy women, our time is limited. We could justifiably say “no” to the time and effort friendships take. But if we find a friend like Hopeful, we would do well to invest: recognizing it is a treasure which pays returns. Does this friend point me toward Christ? Does this friend have the courage to help me see truth when I am veering off the path? Does this friend help me speak words pleasing to the Lord rather than idle chatter, gossip or complaints? That is not to discount our many relationships which don’t meet those points. But in life, to have a God-given Hopeful is a gift from His hand. The investment is worth the Yes! as it makes the run easier and keeps us faithful on the path to Him.
31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day. Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.