Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Week Forty-Seven - Needing a Confidant

Beside the Well
            For far too many of us, deep friendships are rare. We have loads of acquaintances, colleagues, and family members, but a true friend is not always among them. Sometimes loneliness haunts our lives, and we resign ourselves to being alone; to not having anyone who understands or cares deeply enough to read our emotional signals.
            There have been times in my life when I’ve had to tell myself, “Pull up your bootstraps and get on with it!  No one is going to care or understand, so why let it get you down?” That may sound really harsh, but I’ve been there.  It is in those times when I wished I had a friend close enough to lean on.
            Now don’t go feeling sorry.  That isn’t my point.  My point is that no human reach that deepest need.  The ability to fully understand someone else is not one God gave us. When I get to those times, I remind myself that only God knows my heart.  Only He fully understands.
            As I was reading The Transforming Friendship by Rev. Leslie D Weatherhead, he said, “He (Jesus) came right into the midst of man’s toil.”  And He did.  When we look at the story of Jesus in the Gospels, we see him entering lives in amazing ways.  The blind beggar by the highway, the women with the issue of blood, the fishermen with no catch, and the maniac in the tombs are all in the midst of life when Jesus entered. 
            He wasn’t afraid of what they faced.  He wasn’t put off by their weaknesses.  He was the very presence of God with them, and with us, in every circumstance, comforting and encouraging in every effort and affront. He was ready to listen, willing to share and counsel.  He was brave enough to confront, without being condemning.  He was accepting of their failures and imperfection.  He fully understood their needs.
            And He is the same today.  He rejoices when I rejoice and weeps when I weep.  He is that friend that sticks closer than a brother—always with me!  A reality.  And isn’t that precious?  God with us—entering into our hearts of which He alone has the key.  “We must cease then, to think of our friendship with Jesus in the terms of mere acquaintanceships, for He comes to us below the levels plumbed by our most intimate friends.” (p 66)
            In his book, The Key Next Door, Rev. Weatherhead writes, “A true friend is one to whom you can tip out all of the contents of your heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”  Isn’t that a precious description?  Very few friendships reach this level, but with my heavenly Friend, it is always true.
            So when I feel no one understands, I am reminded of His plea, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
            My Friend wants me to turn to Him.  No need for a human confidant when the Lover of my soul stands ready!

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