Hey, Anna back with you!
So far this study, we’ve covered some great but difficult topics, and this week is no different. Loneliness isn’t talked about often, but it’s something we’ve all experienced at one time or another, whether physically alone or in a mindset of isolation.
When I find myself in a state of loneliness, my mind seems to wander places it has no business going. I focus on myself and what’s lacking, instead of what’s in front of me. This is why I love Tracie’s reminder from chapter 6:
“We can focus on the One who is present with us or those who are not.”
Did you catch that? Who/what we focus on is our choice. So, what if...
- Instead of focusing on being alone, we saw our loneliness as an opportunity to seek God and develop an intimate relationship with Him?
- Instead of letting our minds wander, we use that time to better understand the characteristics of being a good friend? After all, Jesus is the ultimate friend, so why not spend time learning from His example?
In chapter 6, Tracie helps us get started by sharing some qualities that make a good friend. Beside each example below, I’ve added references from Jesus' life where He displays these characteristics. If/when you have time, go ahead and check those out for yourself.
A Good Friend:
- Is trustworthy and faithful (Matthew 27:32-66, Matthew 28)
- Talks and listens (Luke 10:38-42)
- Cares about us and is concerned about our lives (John 4)
- Feels compassion when we’re hurting (John 11)
- Stays connected (Acts 1:1-11)
Anyone else find comfort knowing Jesus is perfect at all of these and we can have this type of relationship with Him? My challenge for us this week is to work on strengthening that relationship, while also asking God to bring people into our lives we can be this type of friend to. I’m so thankful for Tracie’s chapters this week (and Jesus’ example) to help us do just that.
Thank You for loving us even when we feel unlovable and alone. Give us the strength to fight off those feelings and help us to direct our focus on developing a relationship with You instead. Thank You also for the ultimate friend we have in Jesus. Help us to learn from His example. Open our eyes to see those You place in our path to befriend and love as He does. In Jesus’ name we pray.