The other day, circumstances came up involving friendships that evoked that familiar pang of hurt and sadness of rejection. Oh how I wanted to ignore it, push it down, you know........buck up. For goodness sake I am a grown woman, you'd think I would be past these things. But this time, I felt I needed to consider (IE: wallow in) these feelings and be honest with myself. So after a time of "considering" I asked the Lord to help me with my pain.
So guess what? He answered me in about half an hour. I began to look on the net for a good pod cast to listen to while I worked and came across a message from John Dawson, president of YWAM. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him talking about Ruth and how her name is derived from the Hebrew word for "friend".
As I listened, I realized this message contained the healing words from the Lord that I needed. I started to see myself as God sees me and understand that God has created me to be a good friend. It is no coincidence that I have chosen Ruth's identity for myself. God actually created me to identify with her. Pretty cool huh???
John Dawson says that the story of Ruth is "intoxicating in its simplicity.... Ruth loved with a reckless love that was free of conniving and working relationships to her own advantage." Ruth covenanted herself to Naomi who was an embittered old women. She was willing to submit herself to the process without expectations.
He goes on to say that the human structure will always be inadequate....the Lord is our guarantor....not people Even though there is pain in the refiners fire, we need to maintain a childlike posture towards the Lord. We must avoid trying to seize control of the process.
In my own life, it is friendships that have caused me the deepest sorrow. I do have many wonderful friends who I am ever so grateful for. However, deep down, I am gun shy. I don't like that feeling of needing to hold back in friendships out of fear and then feeling pain when my fears are confirmed. There must be a better way. Many people deal with this pain by telling themselves they don't care. Or, as John Dawson says, using manipulation to get what they want.
I choose Ruth's way. An extravagant, selflessness in friendship that is free of EXPECTATIONS!!! Having a heart that is willing to go with the process and savor the good. Trusting the Lord to be my guarantor.
I recommend John's message if you have some time. There are some lengthy introductions that you can skip over. Unfortunately the message gets cut off at the end but it is still very worth while. He is very humorous and insightful with many facets of the Christian walk. There is something there for everyone. You can find the pod cast at http://www.newsongministry.com/ under "Sermon Podcast". Nov 10th.
I welcome your comments and insights about a better way with friendships.