CITY GIRL | Friendship
A Devotional Series
by Anna Lind Thomas
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
I was a senior in high school, standing in the hallway with my friends. Our English teacher was chatting with us and said once we graduated, we’d be able to count our true friends on one hand. Um, obviously she hadn’t met my crew. We’d die for each other! Or at least wreck our diets for one another if someone ordered nachos and didn’t want to eat alone.
By the end of summer, I was sporadically speaking to one friend and by college orientation I barely remembered any of their names. Friendships can be weird. Intense. Cherished. Devastating. They can fade, wax, wane, rekindle, revitalize or explode.
The wise King Solomon says a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
We can assume then, a bitter friendship must drain it.
If relationships can have this big of an impact on us, surely they must be terribly important.
The bible shows us that God created within our nature a desire for relationships. In fact, his two greatest commandments are to be in a deep, loving relationship with him and then, with others. Love your God with your whole heart and your whole mind. Then simply, love your neighbors as you love yourself (see Matthew 22: 36-40).
Although we may have lonely seasons, we mustn’t stay there long. Our souls need to be refreshed by laughter, companionship and trust. And although some friendships bloom organically, sometimes they must be intentionally cultivated. We have to put ourselves out there, show up. Volunteer, raise our hands and introduce ourselves. I know it can be awkward. Trust me - you should see moms trying to make new mommy friends. It’s like attending a middle school dance.
But we need them. Like a cool glass of water on a hot day. And what is most beautiful, I think, is that because God promises to meet our needs when we seek Him first, we can rest assured he will help guide us towards divine, nourishing friendships. But God isn’t Amazon Prime. Sadly, we can’t order friends to our door step with two-day shipping.
In God’s ideal design, we would all initiate first, loving others as we love ourselves. This is an unconditional, vulnerable business here, knowing that we might be rejected or betrayed. In fact, we can count on it happening at some point in our lives. But then, eventually, as we pour out in love not expecting anything in return, we’ll find ourselves chatting over a cup of coffee with a new acquaintance and realize we’d been sitting there for hours. Laughing and connecting - souls refreshing.
This might be a bad metaphor since I can’t even keep a succulent alive, but we should treat our friendships like beautiful flowers. Tend to them, feed them, nourish them and give them lots of light.
At My City church, relationships are the heart and soul of what we do. We have many opportunities to get involved, serve and build relationships. We have Crews, groups that get together over a meal for fun and fellowship. We also have our NEXT program, where you’ll discover your special gifts to help link you up with a team where you can serve.
Whatever you decide to do, just remember this: every parched soul needs a friend.