Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunny Day Friends


Sunny day friends are those types of people that call you when the party at the beach got rained out and no one else was around to "hang with". Of course you weren't invited to the fun when the skies were sunny.

Sunny day friends are those "friends" that send the invitation way too close to the date of the event leaving no doubt that you were indeed on the "B List."

Just this week I realized I had naively considered one of my friends a rainy day friend. I had placed her on a pedestal in that category - that was until the sun ceased to shine and I experienced a dark cloud day and needed a friend. That friend never showed up - that is until the sun peeked back out after my emotional storm. That friend was indeed a sunny day friend disguised in a raincoat.

How do you know if your friend falls in this category? Hmmm..ask her to worship with you, pray with you or for you, to  come over because you "just need a friend." Real soon you will recognize a sunny day friend vs.  a rainy day friend. Rainy day friends grab their car keys before you ask. They are on their way to minister in a jiffy.

I flipped open my Bible to the Book of Jude. In this book in the Bible (the only one that consists of one book with verses and no chapters) Jude who is a servant of Jesus Christ and brother to James spoke these words with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of course!), "But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life."

I wondered if sunny day friends came under the category "scoffer". How often do I invite those friends to church gatherings but they fail to show up? Often. Sometimes I see through a lie about having other obligations. Too many times there is suddenly "something that came up." But their invitations for all kinds of parties keep coming while I wonder if there will ever be a time when my friend decides to be honest with me.

I do not confront because secretly deep down I know the truth. But I keep hoping that they will be interested in God, in what I love and am passionate about. I hope the best for them and want to share my love and grow deeper in friendship with them. I want the bonds that created our friendship to go deep so that the history we share and the memories we have made will continue.

Often I wonder, "Where can I find the friend that sticks closer to a brother?" And then I know. SermonCentral  effectively answers my question.

And as I finish typing this compare and contrast of others, God so predictably challenged me, So what kind of friend are you? Silence. I am convicted.

How often do I call a friend without it being about me or me avoiding having to step out of my comfort zone? Guilty.

The Book of Jude concludes with an exhortation: Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
 
It's not wrong for me to categorize relationships. It's not wrong for me to be realistic about a person's intentions in order to lower expectations. We must all discern where we stand with people. But it is wrong  not to pray for my friends - no matter sunny or rainy day friends. After all - the sun doesn't shine all the time. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Storms do not discriminate.
 
God loves us each so much John 3:16. This is true friendship and beyond. God's Agape love is for me - for you, for His creation. Stepping out of my comfort zone to be a godly friend is easy when I allow God to give me the love to give others.
 
Gotta go. My friend is here. We are going to hit the beach. Not a cloud in the sky. But I am prepared. Got a big beach umbrella in the car - just in case. We can both easily sit under it and watch the raindrops or share shelter from the hot sun. After all, there really are friends for all seasons. Have to love them right where they are and hope they love you back. God is love. We follow His lead.
 
Bye for now.
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