I had lunch today with one of my oldest and dearest friends. We don't see each other often but she's one of those friends that is etched so deeply in my heart that no amount of time apart can separate us. We met in high school and have been through marriage and children, separations and divorce, death, traumas, tears and worries, Lots of fun times and always lots of laughter!
Friendships are a treasured gift given to us by God. He commands us to love Him first and then to love others. He places those others strategically throughout our lives. It got me thinking just what does it mean to love them. I've been thinking a lot lately about loving. Not romantic loving, but real heart to heart loving, the way Jesus did. I fear I fail miserably to really love my fellow man at times...like today for instance...as i was driving to meet my friend for lunch, I saw a homeless man standing in the pouring rain, holding a sign: "Will work for food." I have seen him there before and as before I drove right by...but today it really bothered me. I was going to buy him some food on my way home but he was gone. I prayed some kind soul did what I should have done. I feel like that was a missed opportunity to show Jesus love. Everyday we have opportunities to show this love. to our spouses, our children, our friends, our acquaintances, and strangers, who in essence may be friends just waiting to be met. Lord, please help me see and seize these opportunities.
I am blessed to have many friends. I don't ever want to take them for granted. I want to share my heart with them and hope they grant me the same privilege. My heart goes out to those who are alone, who don't know the Lord's love for them. I realize that I may be the only form of Jesus they will ever meet. Since Jesus lives in me I need to be able to share him with everyone I come in contact with. not in a preachy way, but through my actions.
Am I loving as best I can? I thought about Jesus when He walked the earth. His mission: To carry out His Fathers will. How? By loving God first then others. Loving well means seeking God then going out and following Jesus example. In Jesus' 3 years of ministry He walked among the people, interacted with them, listened to them, prayed for them and with them, taught them, healed them, served them, shared with them and sacrificed for them. In essence this is what loving well is all about. Being a follower of Jesus is more than just believing in Him and what He did for me. It means becoming like Him in every area of my life. To follow is an action not just a statement.
Lord, help all of us who choose to follow You to do just that...stand up move forward and take hold of every opportunity to follow Your lead. Place our fears and pride aside and help us learn to love well, so that the message of Your life can be spread as You intended. Thank You for the privilege of this great calling! In Your precious name I pray...Amen