Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

In "Other" Words - Tuesdays at CWO

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.”

~Emily Kimbrough~

The joy of a friend. The absolute comfort, cheer, warmth, unvarnished truth and unconditional love of a close friend.

I have stumbled more times than I care to count. That I cringe when I think about counting. Just when I think I'm on the right road, going the right way, doing the right thing…WHOOPS(!)…there goes my attention from the One on whom my full attention should be focused and that cursed bump in the road pops up from nowhere and trips me up. Sometimes the stumbles are very minor, resulting in nothing more than a stubbed toe, but, then sometimes the stumbles are fairly major, resulting in numerous scrapes, wounds, and deep cuts. Usually to the heart and the spirit.

On either kind of stumble there is the comfort of a couple of good friends that I can count on to reach out their hand and help lift me back up and on my feet. On the more serious one, there are three friends here in town and three online who are there to offer advice, counsel, love and prayer.

To use an analogy, I was in defensive driving many years ago and was told by the instructor that all it takes to create a deadly head-on collision is to turn the steering wheel just 2 degrees toward oncoming traffic. The drift will put you into the path of the other vehicle and *BAM*…it will result in a fatal accident even at a relatively slow rate of speed. 2 degrees seems so small, but it is a vital 2 degrees which can bring serious consequences. Such is the case with mistakes we make in our lives that cause us to stumble either small or big.

Admittedly, there are mistakes I have made that are a result of my own stubborn nature and foolish pride and those are the ones that usually cut the deepest and during those times it is a blessing to have those friends there to love, to listen and to care.

That being said, I am not a person of many friends. Oh, I have a whole bunch of acquaintances, but I have learned from the folly of my youth in having too many “friends” of the wrong sort. These days, I have a select few friends that I trust implicitly, all for different reasons and for different things.

Have you ever had friends that you counted on for different things? My friends are all wonderful for different reasons. I have three friends that I can tell pretty much any of the nitty-gritty of my stumbles to and they have wonderful advice on the “dirtier” parts of my mistakes that help get my head straightened out. I have three other friends, who are better at handling the more spiritual aspects of the mistakes I have made and do not “need” to know the grittier parts of the serious mistakes I make. They are there to help get the spiritual aspect of me back in line when I have started to make that dangerous 2 degree drift and want to “pull the steering wheel” back in line in order to avoid making a devastating mistake.

Proverbs 18:24 says: A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. The first part of that verse is a case of too many cooks spoiling the stew. How many different pieces of advice from different areas does it take to turn one’s head completely upside down? How many people does it actually take to help you with your stumbles? The answer is in the second part. …but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Really, there should be only one person you depend on to help you through your struggles and stumbles because He is the only one who will NEVER steer you wrong. Human friends are wonderful to have, especially Christian ones, to help you through the tough times, but they are, after all, only human and are prone to the same foibles and follies that you are.

Your heavenly friend, Jesus, is the best kind because He will ALWAYS be there for you, will always comfort you, always be ready to forgive you and will always have His hand out for you to hold. All you have to do is take it. And if you are walking hand in hand with the One you should be walking in tandem with anyway, there is less opportunity for stumbles and that 2 degree drift because He will be beside you all the way, keeping your paths straight.

Job 23:11 says “My feet have remained steady on His path; I have learned from His ways and have never swerved aside.” Would that we all followed that bit of Biblical advice!


Amydeanne said...

I see I'm not the only excited one to start this week! lol. how very true your words are! Jesus is the only real trustworthy friend, though try as so many of us have to rely on people in our human faults. Praise God, he really is here for us!

Reverberate58 said...

I am glad my Father is there to hold my hand because without him I would never be able to walk! Wonderful share!

Darlene said...

I love the Bible verses that you chose. I'm amazed that we can all find nuggets of scripture to share, and rarely are they the same. I'm going to remember that steering wheel thing with my friends, in particular my husband, and I'll stay focused on the road ahead. I like that analogy.

Camy Tang said...

Have you ever had friends that you counted on for different things? My friends are all wonderful for different reasons.

I totally relate to that! Each of my closest friends has a different role in my life, sharpening me in different ways, helping me at different times.


Jennifer said...

Really nicely put here. Thanks for the encouragement. It is true that our earthly friends will all let us down in some way.

Anonymous said...

Friendships are as unique as the individuals that are our friends. Those that I would not have chosen as friends...God has placed them in my life for their purpose...and I have been blessed in His wisdom.

Laurel Wreath said...

Oh amen!!

Have a blessed day.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Well written, Nic (as always).

Loni said...

So eloquently written. Your thoughts were so much mine and you shared it so well.

I am thankful for our Faithful Friend and the friends He gives us!

Karen said...

That was beautifully written! Darlene is right...we do all pick out scriptures to share, but are rarely the same...the Lord is awesome like that. :) Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Michael Manning said...

Nic: Don't be too hard on yourself. We gain wisdom from mistakes. As my Pastor said of Jesus at my best friends funeral, "He always became a friend of the person whom he helped first". Thanks for the reminder. Ciao for now! :)

no_average_girl said...

what an amazing post! In a world full of imposters and fakes, it's nice to know there is someone who is stead, true, faithful and real! And to think He loves us very much!!!

Chrixean said...

That was a wonderful reflection, Nic! It's great to know that we have a friend who is always there, literally through thick and thin... and who will pick us up when we can barely crawl through life... :-) God bless! My TTh are up today!