I’ve been going through a difficult time recently and have spent much of my prayer time begging God for strength and comfort to make it through. In the last couple of weeks, he has answered my plea and blessed me with an abundance of strength and comfort, but it came at a cost.
That’s what I told myself anyway. The truth is that my own pride and fear built a wall around my suffering. I didn’t want to let others in because then they would know I was weak and needy. I convinced myself that it would be wrong of me and completely unfair to them to burden them with my pain. So I put on a smile and patted myself on the back for my unselfish, silent suffering.
God calls us to be in relationship with each other. Philippians 2:1-2 (the Message) says, “If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.” I love that phrase – deep-spirited friends. This is not a one-sided relationship. This kind of relationship is one of give and take. Two people connecting and reciprocating with each other. I realized this week that if I am really to be a deep-spirited friend with those I call my friends then I need to allow myself to be transparent and vulnerable with them. I need to honor them by letting them be Christ for me, to reach out to me, to comfort and support me in my time of need.
God has blessed me incredibly this week in my first hesitant steps of vulnerability. The love, support and comfort I have received from my friends has been indescribably powerful. I am experiencing a closeness with them that I’ve never known before and I am grateful to God for the deep-spirited love I now share with them.
Be strong. Be courageous. Be vulnerable. Be deep-spirit friends in Christ.
About the pictures:
Phipps Conservatory (April 2009)