Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Uber-Friend

Joshua did what Moses ordered in order to fight Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. It turned out that whenever Moses raised his hands, Israel was winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, Amalek was winning. But Moses’ hands got tired. So they got a stone and set it under him. He sat on it and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side. So his hands remained steady until the sun went down. Joshua defeated Amalek and its army in battle.
Exodus 17:10-13, MSG

Where would we be without our friends? I, for one, would have made an extended stay at a local mental health care facility, if not for the support and prayers of friends.

Of course, there are friends and there are FRIENDS. The best friends help in crisis by:
  1. Praying with or for us when we can't pray for ourselves. (This is also known as "The fellowship of the mat." See Matthew 9:2)
  2. Knowing when to speak, and when to withhold opinions, just listening.
  3. Offering us a helping hand by bringing a meal, giving a ride, watching a child or the like.
  4. Laughing when we laugh, and crying when we cry.
  5. Encouraging and affirming us in our lowest moments.
  6. Refraining from gossip and keeping our confidences.
  7. Filling in the voids left by those who lack understanding.
Like Aaron and Hur, a helpful friend will understand that we are tired, and will offer us refreshment in these times. They will help us keep our eyes and hands lifted to heaven. These cherished people will stand shoulder to shoulder with us until we win the battle.

My prayer is that God will bless you with dear friends like these. Make it your commitment to wisely chose people like this to be part of your "inner circle". And when God does bring them along, don't forget to accept their help!

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