Wednesday, March 24, 2010

what a friend.

If you are like me you have known a friend in need. In the height of that need, we spring to action and in some cases; overwhelm them with an outpouring of care. What about after the initial crisis?

I think (and I realize these thoughts are highly subjective) we in America may not understand long-suffering. We prefer things resolve quickly. Who wouldn’t? But what if they don’t? What if we can leave friends in time of need far too prematurely?

Calls, emails, gifts, prayers, etc., perhaps end before the true need of assistance does. It’s the long days after the funeral, when everyone has gone home that the grieving widow may well need the persisting care. A few months after the diagnosis and the swell of care is waning, that’s when it’s needed most. The friend who’s been out of work for not just months but a year, and they feel utterly defeated. I think you get what I am trying to say.

The old hymn says it best:

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear

May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

Joseph M. Scriven, 1855

We do have a friend who sticks closer than a brother. This is true. However, we are not forbidden from sticking close ourselves.


Monday, March 22, 2010


Birds chirping, sky is blue, good relationships, no resistance, job going great…blessed! Right? And we should assume those walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, not so blessed? Right?

I was reading someone’s twitter and they were detailing all the wonderful things in their life and they ended with something like, “ridiculously blessed.” First, I found myself filled with envy. But wait! Maybe having everything going your way is not the greatest indicator of God’s blessings.

What is blessed? Can we be blessed walking through the most difficult period of our life here on earth? Can we be so centered in the loving hand of Father God that all is well even when nothing is going right? Can we say, “Ridiculously blessed!” then?

I am just asking the question.


Thursday, March 4, 2010


I was reminded recently of the need to pray on my knees. As a friend was sharing with me a message he had just heard from a preacher in Atlanta, I felt a wash of conviction come over me. Not, condemnation...conviction. My face flushed and I "felt" compelled to return to a practice I truly believe in.

If you are like me, you may offer flash mental prayers far more than concerted, focused, on your knees and face before God prayers. "Does it matter?" I ask myself. I answer, "yes!" Do I engage in this often? Not enough. Conviction tells me to reengage.

I think you may find this sermon outline from Charles Stanley helpful. I did.

There is a battle raging in this life and I am grateful to my friend for helping me remember to meet with my Creator...on my knees.