A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
Recently, I attended a retreat where women from around the world came to study the Word of God and prepare themselves for ministry. What became quickly evident was God would accomplish that and so much more. His plan included encouraging the broken hearted, praying for the weak and encouraging those that felt alone. He wanted His daughters to establish meaningful relationships with each other that would continue after the retreat ended.
But as you know, ministering to women isn’t always easy because we don’t like to be vulnerable. We’d rather put on a smile than share how we’re feeling. It’s safer to say, I’m fine instead of saying I’m broken.
What we sometimes miss is that women desire meaningful relationships and meaningful
relationships require time. A surface relationships will not satisfy our desire for friendship. Friendship comes with a price tag; the question is are you willing to pay the price.
The apostle Paul’s companion, Luke understood firsthand the cost of friendship. He saw Paul’s sufferings and stood by him during his darkest hours. He didn’t desert him when things looked dim. Instead Luke the physician, tended to his needs, was a source of encouragement and assisted Paul in writing letters to the church.
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, we catch a glimpse of how difficult things were. Paul wrote:
“Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica. Creacens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
2 Timothy 4:9-11
It’s evident that this was a very
difficult time in Paul’s life. He was shackled in prison, in physical pain, he longed to see his son in the faith, Timothy. Demas had forsaken Paul and I can only imagine the loneliness Paul experienced.
When was the last time you felt deserted and alone? When was the last time you were in physical pain? Have you ever been hungry? Have you ever been overwhelmed and exhausted? I pray that during those moments you were comforted by someone just like Luke. Someone bound to you by heart strings instead of shackles.
I can only pray that each of you grasp where I’m headed. Dear sisters in Christ your needed to minister to the broken hearted, and carry the burdens of your sisters in Christ. God wants to use you to reach the lost and lonely. The question is are you willing? Are you willing to be vulnerable are you willing to be authentic? Are you willing to be a true friend in the faith?