I just hit backspace. I tend to start off with a disclaimer about how I'm really not that wise and my faith isn't that strong right now and I pretty much have no idea what I'm talking about. But I'll try not to do that this time, because I want this to be read as if it is something worthwhile, because think it just might be.
These past few months have been a confusing time for me personally. Maybe it's just being 19, maybe I'm just too emotional, but there are some things that happen in my life that I just don't understand, and letting go of things that haven't been explained is not something that I do well.
When I think back on the past few months, one particular thing really stands out that has been very significant to me, and that is friendship. There was a time in my life not that long ago when I did not feel that I had many friends, and it really troubled me. Thankfully, things are different now, and that is something I try not to take for granted. I was reminded a few days ago of the story (above) of a group of people who brought their friend to Jesus, and I realized what a great lesson in friendship it is. These men carried their friend to where Jesus was, and they did not give up when they saw the large crowd. They loved this friend so much that they were willing to do whatever it took to make sure he got to Jesus. They put aside their own needs for a time to ensure that this friend who so desperately needed access to Jesus would receive it, no matter what they had to do. Isn't that such a great display of what friendship should be?
I am thankful to have many friends like this. There have been many times over the past few months when I have felt that I just don't have any faith left, and what has kept me encouraged is experiencing the faith of my friends. (When I use the word "friends" in this post, I am referring not only to close friends that I talk to on a daily or weekly basis, but all of the people from my church and beyond who have been such an encouragement to me lately.) From the very day I realized that my plans for the summer were not God's plans, I had the support of friends, and there are countless people who have given me encouragement that strengthened my faith at it's weakest point. This experience has taught me a lot about friendship. I have experienced what it's like to be surrounded by people who love me so much that they want to make sure that I'm getting closer to Jesus even when my life is hard, and that's really an amazing thing to have. Through the example of friendship that so many people have given me, I have realized the kind of friend I should strive to be. True friends will do whatever it takes to make sure you are close to Jesus, even if they have to get you in through the roof. That's the kind of friend I'm blessed to have, and the kind of friend I want to become.