WK 26 A Season of Change

Friends, everybody needs a few! But incorrect expectations about friendships can trip you up and leave you lame for a season. Let's discuss friendship expectations. 

Solomon appointed the "office of a friend." We find in 1 Kings 4:5 these words: "Zabud the son of Nathan, a priest, was the king's friend..." David had his thirty mighty men (1 Chronicles 11). We all long for friends that we can do life together with. Should that be found, rejoice, but this kind of kinship is an exception to the rule. It is rare and precious.

First, invest in your time with the greatest friend of all and you will not require someone with whom you must process everything. You must learn how to take time with Christ on a daily basis. I meet with Him each morning, and every time we meet, we discuss pertinent things about my family, my ministry, and my future.

The longest partnership should be your spouse and family. It is crucial to invest in these friendships the most. Don't deprioritize them. You cannot afford to sacrifice your family or marriage on the altar of success. Invest in them without apology. Begin by prioritizing your spouse. Invest in that friendship most of all.  Most of the time, friendships are for a season. We don't want those seasons to end, but they do ... regardless of the sincere intent in the beginning to stay true to a godly cause with one another. 

Mathew 26:35 finds the disciples with Jesus in the
Garden of Gethsemane. He is warning them of the impending crucifixion. "Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same."

Comforting words spoken boldly, ones that Jesus accepted and received, but he also knew they would not be kept. Cordial words motivated by the zeal of the moment. That didn't make the words wrong... just unbuildable.

Jesus knew their words, when put under the pressure test of reality, would collapse. He actually factored that in and was prepared for their hasty departures when the soldiers appeared. Their flight at His moment of arrest didn't take Jesus by surprise. It didn't even cause Him consternation. What broke Christ's heart was not the fleeing of His disciples but the turning away of the Father at the sin of mankind He bore to the cross. It was understood in the light of redemption, but it still did not remove the pain of the moment.

However, once redemption's toll was satisfied, we were granted the sure promise that the price does not ever need to be paid again. It is a "once and for all" satisfaction for sin's debt. Hebrews 13:5 reminds us that God will never leave us nor forsake us.
God never will, but man might.

This is an essential. Staff, friends, and congregants with zeal and commitment may assure you that they will always be there; cordial words spoken in sincerity. Just don't build on them too firmly. See these wonderful people as partners and gifts along the way; some will stay for a short time, others longer. Some leave because of what God is doing in them. Others leave because of what God is trying to do in you. Failures on both ends can exacerbate hasty departures.

Some will leave because of family; some because of perceived failure. Some may have a viable calling to leave, others not. Death is the final separator, but somewhere along the line, we all will experience them. Plan on it.

Don't mourn over seasons that have been completed. Rather, give thanks for them and look forward to the next. Always call them friends who have nourished your life, but always look to Jesus as the One who will nourish your soul. No human being can take His place.
God will add friendships along the way, especially in ministry. Friends, cherish them but don't hang onto them or expect them to last a lifetime. Enjoy their company while the season lasts. Receive every co-laborer as a gift; friends who will share the burden along the way. Enjoy those God places in your path for as long as they are there, but be certain to lean on God alone. His grace and presence will definitely be enough.

The length of their stay, only God knows. But love them and encourage them as if God had asked you to prepare them for their next journey, and should they embark, they will always call you "friend."

As we prepare on July 25th  to part with our friend Jan Sinozich, I am calling the Church to prayer and fasting.  Pray for Janice in the next part of her life in ministry, pray for those left behind on the worship team and pray for whom God will call to lead us. I am asking you to join with me and fast from music one day a week for the months of July and August. God can not do a new work when the container is full so I will be opening space in my life to hear the music of God during this time of transition.

God of all, ease any tense muscles or strained nerves or wrought-up emotions. Let me be relaxed in body and calm in spirit so that I may be more responsive to your presence. I pause, Father, to commune with you. Amen.