If you have ever seen the movie “Toy Story”, the title of this post is familiar. I can hear Randy Newman singing the song in his distinct voice while images of Woody and Buzz Lightyear flash through my mind. An entertaining movie with a wonderful message on the value of true friendship.
The book club that I’m in is continuing to read through Rebekah Lyons’s Rhythms of Renewal: Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peace and Purpose.
I’ve been enjoying the book….until I got to the chapter on connection and friendship. Then, I cried. A lot.
My husband, myself and our children went through some difficult, painful times. Grief was ever present in our hearts and home. We were disconnected. In my naïveté, I hadn’t realized that leaving a church meant that my “friends” would leave, too.
So, when I read Rebekah Lyon’s challenge to “be the friend you wish to have”; I broke down. Cue the “ugly cry”.
As I continued to read, I realized that all was not lost. Over the last two years, the Lord sent two friends that have stuck with me. They have commiserated and prayed for me. They have challenged and encouraged me. I have worked on doing the same for them.
In His mercy, over time, I have been able to gain a few more faithful friends. Such sweet blessings.
Through all of the struggle and grief, I have been challenged to be the friend that I not only wish to have but be the friend that I desperately needed.
Proverbs 17:17 says “A true friend loves regardless of the situation,
and a real brother exists to share the tough times.”
Friendship is not convenient. It takes effort and intentionality. It takes understanding, forgiveness and consideration of the other person. True friendship means that we stick with people when they walk through the valley of death. True friendship means that we rejoice when they are on the mountain top. We share in all the moments of life. When we only look at a relationship as an exchange: what can you do for me; then, that is not friendship.
Luke 6:31 says to treat people the way you would like to be treated. It’s the Golden Rule. What if we just lived out the Golden Rule? How different would our lives, our families, our churches, or even our world look if we followed that one Bible verse?
Would others be able to find a friend in you?