I saw this post the other day that I thought was so funny. It said, “Nobody talks about Jesus’ miracle of having 12 close friends in his 30s.” I kept reading it over and over; the laughter soon turned into tears. I talk to people weekly that are lonely, and they want to feel wanted and needed in life. They want friends and companions. They talk about being surrounded by people, but there’s no one to really talk to, no one really hears them, and no one is there to support them. There’s no one with whom to walk through life.
I sometimes find myself so busy that I don’t have time to nurture relationships that will sustain me. I know that I’m so focused on all the commitments that must get accomplished in life that I don’t make time for friendships. Then as an introvert in a social job, I get home from work and only want to be with and talk to my family.
I have a friend with whom I would like to grow a close relationship. We wanted to get together for dinner, and our want-to-hang-out-this-weekend turned into pulling out our calendars and booking time a month later. That’s not what I want. I’m sure if you feel like this you may be in the same or a similar boat. I want to spend time with people, and I want to have the time to do it.
Do you remember in kindergarten when making friends was so easy? You could just walk up to someone and say, “I think we should be friends,” and then you were. You would spend the rest of the day playing and running around and even holding hands. Then you would see each other every school day and have recess time to play and hang out. Somehow it got harder to make friends as we became older.
God made us beings that need relationships. We need each other. We need others that will support us, talk with us, and be there for us. We need to be there for others and to give care and love to them. We seek someone to walk with us. That’s how we are created to be. We are created to have friends and be friends. It is in Christian friendship that we get a greater understanding of who we are and who we are called to be. It’s in Christian friendship that Christ is revealed more fully.
But how do we find these friendships? How do we hold on to and nurture the relationships we already have?
Come and be a part of a small group. Come and participate in a retreat. Come and volunteer at events happening at church. And then do something you may not have done in years. Go up and tell someone, “I think we should be friends.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a New Living Translation (NLT)
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
Lord God, You have given us the great gift of each other. Help us to make friendships. Empower us to nurture and sustain these friendships. And support us as together we glorify you through our friendships. AMEN.