Last Saturday, John & I spent the day with some treasured friends that we’ve known for years. They’re the “real thing” . . . as followers of Christ, and as friends. The four of us have been together in hard times and joyous times. We’ve shed tears together and had times when we laughed so hard we thought our sides would split. We’ve shared our joys. It is true, that friendships really do divide our sorrows and multiply our joys. We’re so grateful that God has allowed us to have a friendship so deep, that even living in different communities cannot sever the ties.
We all yearn to be accepted and loved, to feel that we have purpose and that we matter. Sometimes we search for love and significance in the wrong places, like our kitty friend in the picture. It seems silly, doesn’t it? Cuddling up to that cement frog? I just want to scream at that cat, “It’s not the real thing, silly!” But I suspect we’ve all done things just as silly in our search for significance. Have you ever poured so much of yourself into your job, in the hope of getting a business promotion, that you neglected other important aspects of your life? Have you ever gone into deep financial debt, just to have the impressive “house of your dreams?” Or the house of everyone else’s dream? Or the newest “status symbol” car. You know, the one that will make the neighbors or people at work sit up and take notice of you? That little sports thingy! There are all kinds of dead end roads waiting for us if our search for significance is not directed by the Lord. If we follow them, we make just about as much sense as that misguided kitty. Real significance, acceptance, and meaning can be found. It’s all a matter of what you cuddle up to, or cling to. Silly kitty isn’t going to receive much encourgement back from that cement frog.
God has created us to be relational beings. As early as creation, He saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone, and He created Eve from his rib. The bible records many accounts of significant relationships. The friendship of David and Jonathan, and the relationship of Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, are just a couple. In the New Testament we see Paul’s love for Timothy, like a son. Personal interaction, and the sense that we’re not alone in this life, are needs that have been placed within us by God. Real significance comes when we make a difference in someone else’s life. Searching for meaningful significance in other places is like cuddling up with that cement frog.
What’s your cement frog? Is any pursuit, honorable though it may be, getting in the way of the relationships that God has brought to your life? Proverbs 27:10a says, “Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family.” I read today that “The value of friends is one of the most important things in a person’s life: Their worth is not diminished by time, not devalued by inflation, not worn out by use, but like a fine wine, they improve with time.”(Jack Wellman) That has been proven in our life by our friendship with John and Micki. I pray that your significance will be found, not in the empty pursuits of this world, but in “the real thing,” the relationships that God has privileged you to nurture, the lives of those to whom He has called you to “make a difference.” And may each of us find our ultimate significance in our “friend who sticks closer than a brother,”. . . in Jesus Christ, Himself. He’s the real thing!!! (Proverbs 18:24) Blessings on your day!
That’s the view from here . . .