A Friendship on God's Agenda
Psalm 34:18 (ESV)
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Relationships with people can often feel very fleeting and empty. This may be why I struggle with loneliness so immensely. There isn’t a real way for me to portray how it feels. But if I had to, it’s almost as if no matter how many friendships or relationships I have, it won’t fill this immense hole that I have in me.
Reflecting on my life so far, I realize that I only keep close to a small circle of people. This is not because I can’t make relationships with people but because of the immense pain that I have received in my previous relationships, by depending on others and ultimately myself. I’ve masked the pain and torture with drugs, music, exercise, and money. But these things have just led to disappointments. The mechanisms I sought after in the past aren’t something that I am proud of but they are a defense to the pain that I have experienced. It cuts deeper when the hurt that I am receiving is from the people that I have loved and even worse, the people who have raised you. There aren’t many places you can turn to when even the people you trusted most leave you hanging in the world by yourself.
Recently, I got closer to a friend. He started as a gaming buddy. I would have dumb arguments about dumb games with him, but our relationship blossomed into something much greater. He has led me to Christ.
He once told me, “I never knew God was working through me to you when we were gaming.” That imagery has always haunted me. Those periods of time when I thought I was just playing games and going through my lowest of lows, God placed someone in my life to watch over me. It wasn’t until recently when I met God, that I truly understood what having that hole of loneliness filled was like.
Honestly... I am a little disappointed that my “honeymoon phase” with the Lord was so abruptly ended and that my “spiritual high” didn’t feel long enough. But my friend took my fleeting spiritual high and made me chase after Christ over and over again. He constantly pushes me to find higher understandings, to challenge myself, and to seek further faith. There isn’t a week of this year that I haven’t bothered him with questions about my faith and my understanding with the Lord. And every time I come to him with these questions and struggles, he sits there patiently and listens and helps me through them. He gives me a reason for thanksgiving every day of my life.
I can faithfully say that I am a changed man now. I have been growing with Christ and seeking Him more and more. I am representing Grace Church on the basketball team, working towards one day leading Bible Reading Fellowship, and becoming a Youth Group teacher. I never would have thought I would ever be in this position.
God placed this friend in my life to bring me to the person I needed most: Jesus Christ. So, I write this testimony as thanksgiving for my struggles because it brought me to a place that is unimaginable to a younger, more naive me. I thank Grace Church for accepting me again with open arms. And above all I thank the Lord, for never leaving my side.
For Your Reflection
God uses His people to bring healing and comfort to the brokenhearted. I hope that we may all strive to be that friend who can encourage and reflect the love of Christ to those around us who are struggling.