Whenever I have been in group discussions, at a forum, listening to a sermon, on social media or reading, something will most likely come up about friendships. Most times from my perspective it isn’t usually the good things about friendships that are explored in these conversations. It seems to be the trend to talk about haters (jealous friends), wolves in sheep clothing, friends you have to leave/shake off, friends that are waiting to see you fail and the ones that have done you wrong. I do know that these are situations that have occurred in all our lives, even Jesus had a wolf in the group. However that is a conversation for another time. Just to add before I move on, if you are someone who likes to use the phrase “I trust no one”, please reevaluate that statement –Thank you!

Situations always arise in our lives that we may/ may not have been prepared for, and some of these situations we may have to endure alone. This is not a bad thing, and though many of us may feel that our friends could have been there a lot more when we needed them, and could have had more presence during these times then we may say they are not great friends, or they were waiting for us to simply fall.

Not negating the fact that this could be the case, there are times both good and bad when your friends can go no further on your journey for a period of time. As I go through life I am learning that there are some things you have to endure alone, somethings that your friends may not be able to offer advice for, and somethings that only God can help you through. Joseph's brothers had to betray him for him to accomplish what God required of him, and he had to endure alone (Gen 37, 39-47). Moses when he was going to journey up the mountain to meet with God, the people could not journey up the mountain with him (Exo. 24:13). Some of you may be saying “he was going to meet God, so that doesn’t count as a bad situation.” Please understand that making the trek up any mountain is never easy, it takes work to get to that meeting place. If you have ever hiked, you will know that to get to that beautiful scenery at the top of a hill takes work. It may even require maneuvering some very rocky ground (offering unstable footing) or muddy surroundings, however you have to do it anyway to get to that place of beauty, and to experience something different.

 

There was also a point in Abraham's life where he had to leave his servants during his journey to the land of Moriah in order to complete what God required of him (Gen. 22:5). When preparing for your journey on a new venture, making a decision or stepping out on faith, use wisdom in deciding who will continue the journey with you. Not everyone has the same experiences, therefore some will not understand the extra you will have to do. If this decision involves your walk with God, there are times where you have to withhold the details of your journey, and after going through and enduring then you share the experience. Why? Simply because your friends like Job’s wife may tell you to curse God and die. Though this was not the ideal thing for Job's wife to say, I have come to have some understanding of the situation she was in. She is a reference point for many of us today, as a reminder to stay strong for those around us going through. However imagine you were Job's wife, and all hell broke loose in your life. I think sometimes we get so focused on Job that we forget that she was going through all the loses too. Then to see your husband having to scrape corruption from his skin and lay in ashes. Can you imagine the pain and agony she watched him endure? She probably didn't have a similar story to make reference to, or bring her encouragement, and she may not have had an understanding of what was happening. Even Job's friends, could only encourage him based on what they knew.

Similarly there are times when your friends can go no further simply because they will not be able to endure what you go through. It may be hard for them to see the difficulties you face, and it’s not because they don’t want you to receive double or they don’t want you to make it. You struggling may be too hard for them to bare, so they may offer unwise counsel based on their own feelings and emotions. When your friends can go no further it may be better for them, because though they may not have the same experience they will be praying for your safe journey through your difficulties. And though they may not be in the situation with you they will be praying and cheering you on from afar. Don’t give these friends a hard time. After you have endured your situation be willing to meet with them, and share your experience, so that when they are going through they will have you for guidance or a point of reference. Though they were seemingly never there for you, you can be there for them. Some of you may be thinking “why should I offer help when they were not as present as I wanted them to be? Shouldn’t they endure alone to become stronger too?”

Jesus carried the cross, took the pain and endured it all alone. It wasn’t a journey that His disciples could take with Him, and some of them couldn’t watch Him take the journey either. So there was a point where His friends could go no further. It was a tough uphill trek to get to that mountain top but He did it anyway. After achieving His goal, Jesus returned and assisted His friends, He became via the Holy Ghost their comfort. He empowered them to endure, and gave comfort in the times of death reminding them of the hope they had (eternal life). Jesus is who we follow, and if He can do it, with Him we can make it.

Though you may come to a point where your friends can go no further, never forget that Jesus is always present and He is always with you, as long as you allow Him to have that place in your life.

In Psalm 23 David said “Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thou art with me thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” David when escaping Saul had his friend Jonathan, but there was a point when Jonathan no matter how much he loved David, could go no further. I am sure that Jonathan didn’t want David to endure alone. I am sure he was asking God to protect David. In those days there were no cellphones for Him to send an encouragement via text or tag him on Facebook, but Jonathan though he couldn’t be there had David’s best interest at heart.

This post is a reminder that we are all human, and though sometimes we would want our friends by our sides, there are somethings we will have to go through, while they cheer us on from the sidelines. Sometimes our friends will disappoint us. Sometimes they won’t be there when we feel we may need them the most. Please remember that you are not alone. God is present, when you are going through things that you are afraid to say out loud, or things you may feel you can share with no one else. Give Him the chance to be there for you, to be that friend you can call on and rely on at any time- He is that faithful!

 

Pray for your friends! Though you may not be able to make the journey with them at times, pray for them, send an encouraging word or send up a quick prayer when you find yourself thinking about that friend. Pray that they will have the strength to make it, when they have to make the journey alone. If prayer is all you can offer- Pray! We all have our various struggles, and we are all facing our own mountains, and some mountains you have to climb. If you tell every mountain to move, then you will never have the mountain top experience. To have that experience you have to climb, you have to put in the work. When making your way up the mountain be sure to make camp and rest, and during your rest period please pray for your friends. In other words, when you are going through your situation, don’t be so focused on you that you ignore those around. Pray for them, and encourage them so that they can endure too.

When your friends can go no further.....trust that God will take you the rest of the way.

- Ashley #followerofJesusChrist

Published by Ashley Keene