It’s that time of year. I ran into a new friend of mine this morning who is leaving within a few days with no plans to return. We had barely started to get acquainted! And tomorrow there will be a “come-and-go” farewell reception for other colleagues. Still others are leaving for a few months or a year. On the plus side, three families plan to return within a couple of months after a year or more away.
Is it worth investing in friendships for such short times? I would say YES for several reasons:
–I need them. One cannot live without friends. It would be a lonely existence.
–My friendship can enrich them as I allow Christ to bless through me.
–We can keep in touch long-distance and support one another in prayer.
–Even if we never again meet on the earth, I will spend forever with my Christian brothers and sisters in heaven, taking up where we left off. This life is only the beginning.
Here are a few things I want to keep in mind:
–Don’t take so long to warm up to new friendships. Grab the opportunity!
–Be genuine, humble, and give of myself in ways that will encourage others.
–Ask God for special friendships with “kindred spirits” with whom I can grow together and share deeply.
Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
I can’t believe the hopes He’s granted
Means a chapter of your life is through
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong
And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends
“Friends” (by Michael W. Smith)