It’s true what they say: you can’t help people who won’t help themselves. But, oh, how I love to help people who truly want the things of Christ but have temporarily lost sight of how to get to them.
I love the feeling of being in relationships with people who share with me when they are faltering and allow me to encourage them back to Him. Those friends with open spirits, who long for the Lord… It is so sweet to come along side them and support them. And then to see the ensuing victory – that moment when the fog lifts and they see Jesus again! They knew he was there all along…. they kept the faith. And victory becomes theirs. These are holy moments to be a part of.
Maybe I am drawn to relationships like this because so often the shoe is on the other foot – I’m the one who misplaces Jesus.
So many days I can’t remember how to get to Him, but I believe He’s still there… somewhere… And one of these faithful friends comes along and speaks life to me. They encourage me toward Him in love and truth. And, inevitably, the fog lifts. And, surprise! There is Jesus again. My face lights up, and I laugh because He was there all along…. and my friends share in my joy. It’s as if we’ve banded together, two Christians against the Evil One, and we’ve prevailed!
I love those moments – holy moments.
They make me think of our daughters as babies learning to walk.
They both walked late. Like their mama. We’d encourage them – show them how to move their little legs – put incentives just out of reach. Hold their little hands, then just a finger, then we’d let go altogether, hoping to see them toddle on without us. For a long time, they’d fall. They’d fuss. They’d grow frustrated. They’d insist on holding our hands a little while longer. And we felt those emotions right along with them – frustration, exasperation – waiting with baited breath for them to finally get it, believing that day would come and pedestrian victory would be theirs.
And on the day they finally walked by themselves… we came unglued with excitement and celebration! We ourselves didn’t accomplish anything…. except we had believed with all of our hearts that these little ones would walk one day… And when all those weeks (months?) of persevering in faith came to fruition, our hearts burst with gladness. And then it was on to the next issue to tackle… potty training… learning to read… learning to write… and on and on the issues go.
So it is in meaningful Christian friendships. We encourage. We pray. We listen. We believe on behalf of another who isn’t feeling it. And, eventually, we see breakthrough – glory – in the most literal sense of the word. Grace.
When Moses had to hold his arms up in order for Israel to win a battle against the Amalekites, he grew weary. His friends held his arms up for him, helping him accomplish his purpose (Exodus 17:11-12). And all were blessed by being a part of the victory the Lord gave them.
I’ve had many friends hold my arms up over the years. They are sweet friendships I treasure. The ones I treasure most, however, are those who have allowed me to hold up their arms in their times of need as well. It’s that mutual exchange of hearts and heartaches that births glory-full relationships.
If you want more meaningful relationships, be willing to hold someone else’s arms up, and be open enough to allow them to do the same for you.
There’s something holy about it… two friends united by Christ’s blood, encouraging each other to press into difficulty and grasp the Truth of the Cross tighter still…
Don’t miss it.