RSS

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Trusting God for Friendship

A few months ago I attended a gathering and ran into an old friend of mine. We hadn’t talked or seen each other in at least a year and a half or so. We shared a quick light hug and immediately I realized that this person wasn’t particularly elated to see me. I started a conversation in order to hopefully catch up with this person so we could share what‘s been happening in our lives. Well, let’s just say that I was the one that had to be responsible for keeping the conversation going. This was not a reunion. Then it dawned on me as I kept trying to keep the conversation alive that this person and I were no longer friends. As I drove home that night, I admit that it did sting a bit. A slight heaviness came over me and I reflected on our years in college and just the differences in our personalities and outlooks on life. By the next morning, I was more at peace. I realized that this person and I had simply grown into different people. My mind became a little more at ease as I understood that this person and I maybe didn’t have much in common anymore. Were there unresolved issues? Possibly… Who knows? We can’t read each other’s minds and it is just best to move on. This person and I certainly are not enemies, but this situation is evidence that relationships do change. I can rest and be okay with the fact that this person and I are now mere acquaintances.

A mentor friend at my church always says, “Life is a big bowl of relationships.” I believe he is right to a large degree. Relationships change over time for a variety of different reasons. There are those you just simply outgrow. This is not to suggest that you are better than them, but that people mature spiritually at different rates. Sometimes you and that person may not have anything in common anymore or that their lives become stagnant whiles yours is moving on; or vice versa. Other times, our lives simply go in different directions and the closeness or intimacy you once shared with someone diminishes. These situations can especially hurt when they involve your own family. I know all too well about that one… There are other times where things like physical distance can cause relationships to fizzle out, like a soda that has gone flat.

Sometimes there are expressed and even unspoken offenses in relationships. The nature of human frailty includes situations of jealousy, envy and simply ulterior motives for the “friendship” in the first place. This is why COMMUNICATION is key when it comes to relationships. I know that I have current relationships that have somewhat broken down because of misunderstanding, expressed and unexpressed offenses and lack of communication. When there are unhealed issues, wounds and offenses that have not been resolved, the relationship is likely to break down sooner or later. Unfortunately, it may even result in a blow-up or falling out. I’m sure we have all heard the saying that “Hurt people hurt others.” Well, I believe this plays out all the time in relationships. Just like a wound that goes untreated and develops an infection that can spread around the whole body, a relationship can become permanently broken due to festering situations and wounds.

I believe that friendship is an area of our lives where we don’t always allow Father God to be in control. (This is actually the main point of this post) Let’s face it; relying upon Him to choose our friends and place people in our lives isn’t exactly easy. He will not place people that you necessary deem to be pleasant or likeable in your path. He will not always link you up with people who are cool or even those that you might seem to have some things in common. He will likely link you up with folks to help shape your character. This includes individuals with whom your personality clashes. This also includes people who will hurt you.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (NKJV)

We must remember that this is a journey that we are walking and if He is lord over our lives, He should get place whomever in your world He feels is necessary for your spiritual growth. He will place the people you NEED in your life; not always those you necessarily want. I’m learning that I have to be open to allowing God to place people in my life whom in the natural, I may never have formed a connection. I am learning to yield to Him so that my horizons can be broadened a bit. How many times have I or you ended relationships without God’s permission? Or how many times have we formed relationships with people when God was raising red flags for us to run the other direction? Hmmmm…. Ponder that.

Our connections with people are not just for our benefit, but for theirs as well. Every relationship is supposed to have a purpose.

friendship

So with that being said, we have to brace ourselves when God sometimes breaks up our relationships. He does this for a variety of reasons, such as codependency, lust, jealousy, distractions, causing brethren to stumble, etc. Heck, the Bible does say also that He is a jealous God. No man should come before Him, so don’t be surprised if He intervenes and causes a “sabbatical” from a relationship, or severs it altogether. If our affections for our friends exceed those towards Him, sometimes He will take some drastic measures to divert our attention back on to Himself. I have also come to realize that God is always protecting us. I think about the numerous times over the years where I would meet someone and we would seem to hit it off great in terms of fellowshipping. But for some reason, the connection would get lost almost immediately and somehow we could never get our schedules aligned or even talk over the phone much. These situations would get me down sometimes. However, in recent years, the Holy Spirit has shown me that in many of these situations, God was protecting me from that person, and vice versa… I also had to swallow my pride and admit that my neediness often caused me to cling to people and not go to Him in my times of need. Everything that appears good isn’t, especially if He is not a part of it…

So this is why we must trust God with our relationships. Wrong relationships will steer us off course from our destiny and take away our attention off of the Father. Wrong relationships will cause us walk in flesh and not the spirit. Right relationships will help form our character. Right relationships should draw us closer to Him. Let’s trust the Father and allow Him to pick and choose our relationships.

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2013

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

A New Journey

I have not felt this peaceful in years, if not ever… Rest has been a totally foreign concept for the past thirteen years. I can finally BREATHE… Inhale. Exhale. Thoughts are no longer bouncing off the sides of my head forming a kaleidoscope in my mind. They are gradually slowing down as if I am approaching a traffic light as it turns from yellow to red. Waking up each day has been like eating some exquisite dessert. Life has slowed down to a breath of fresh air. It feels like hope is being revived. Dreams are coming back into view because my vision had become blurry. Joy seems to be bubbling up inside of me and a well spring will come forth, whether it is through my smile, my pen, an embrace, laughter or just the serenity that is beginning to encapsulate my aura. This feels really amazing and I wonder why I didn’t make this decision sooner. Now infinite possibilities lay before me like an open landscape. A pathway lined with all sorts of precious stones that has been illuminated like some “yellow brick road” goes through this landscape and I have taken the first step on to it. It leads to a place called “Wholeness.” Glimpses of this place appear in my imagination, only they seem real. Forgiveness soaks the ground like morning dew giving life. As I walk to water’s edge, I see that there is another place even more magnificent than this one. However, to get to it I must walk on water across the crystal sea. This is exciting, yet alarming at the same time.

lake view

I imagine myself lying in a hammock tied to a couple of fruit trees just passing the day away at it gently sways from side to side. Maybe this is a picture of His rest. The way that He has always meant for us to live, despite whatever circumstances are before us. My face looks calmer than I can ever remember. Even my facial features seem to have a glow that paints my countenance a beautiful shade of new beginnings. The bags that had begun to form under my eyes are already fading away, as if they were intruders. Scales that fell from my eyes litter the ground beneath me and a renewed perspective comes into view. It tells me that it is okay to start over. It is okay to be what the world calls a “late bloomer.” Because this soul flower will be one of great radiance and will be one that has never been seen!

I am a magnificent eagle of a rare breed that has just been freed from captivity. It is one that resulted from my own decisions, but now this bird has been given another chance. My Lord, look at my wings glide through the air, reflecting the light of the sun! Soaring to new heights! Soaring into new territory and foreign lands! Gliding into panoramic views that show truths that the former false self could not see…

eagle

All of this now awaits me. Former things have passed away. It is a new day, a new chapter, a new season. Time for my decisions to be soaked in an oil called finality. This is a glorious opportunity to become a clean vessel that will be used for His glory. A chance to know what it means to live as a son of God and an heir of Christ. This new season is a tangible form of mercy, inspiring me to put on hinds feet and climb to high places. An assurance that He has a marvelous destiny in store for me. A chance to just be…

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2013

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Spirituality

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: