I am standing strong in the battle right now for two very dear friends.
Have you ever had to do that?
Have you ever had to watch someone you love dearly go through pain, uncertainty, devastating circumstances and years of sorrow?
It’s not pretty.
It’s certainly not easy.
It’s just plain hard.
It’s heartbreaking to stand on the sidelines when a friend is dealing with the heat of the battle, isn’t it?
Oh! How I wish I could save her from this!
Oh! How I wish that he didn’t have to go through this!
What do you do when you feel helpless to help?
What do you do when the heat of the pain is not your own but the sparks that are flying everywhere are leaving blisters on all those who have gathered around to watch?
What do you do?
What do you do when a friend is diagnosed with cancer?
What do you do when a dear friend loses her mom much too early?
What do you do when a friend deals with the pain of an abusive childhood?
What do you do?
Are you ready for yet another list of mine today?
As you know by now, I am famous for my lists! I keep a small notebook in my purse and jot down ideas that often take the form of valuable lists in my life.
(Sometimes I write my lists in my phone if I can’t find my pen … because even though I love lists … I’ll admit it … I am not very organized.)
(Hey … I just had a thought … sometime I need to give you a list of my lists … wouldn’t that be a fascinating blog?!)
Here you go – this is my “go-to” list for what I am going through right now …
“When Forced to Stand and Watch a Friend Fight a Horrific and Unexpected Battle:
1 – Remind yourself what an honor it is to be called along side your friend during a battle.
You are not the one dealing with the personal pain – they are.
So … don’t get all stuck in self-pity and mired despondency but remind yourself every single day that it is a high honor in life to help someone who is in the fire.
God looked around and chose you to be a voice of hope.
God looked around and chose you to be a calming influence.
God looked around and chose you to be a prayer warrior.
It’s a high honor so treat it as such. Don’t ignore it or walk away from it.
There are few honors greater in life than being called to be a friend when times are tough.
You got the job so do it. Do it well. Do it with humility and with grace.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
2 – Don’t just say that you will pray … but really pray.
When someone else is in the heat of battle – your prayers have the power to extinguish their flames.
Your prayers have the capacity to lessen the intensity of the heat they are facing.
Your prayers on someone else’s behalf have the divine ability to strengthen … to comfort … to heal … to soothe … to restore joy … and to deliver.
Why in the world wouldn’t you pray when a friend is being tested?!
“ … Pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” – James 5:16
You are a powerful friend when you pray! Your prayers can get the job done!
Set aside specific times of prayer for the one who is in the battle.
Pray while you are brushing your teeth in the morning … pray while you are in the shower … pray while your cup of coffee is brewing … pray on your way to work … pray during your coffee break … pray during lunch … pray on the commute home … turn off the TV in the evening and pray for your friend … pray while you are brushing your teeth at night … pray when you lay your head on the pillow.
Pray when you are folding laundry … pray when you are weeding your flower garden … pray in the grocery store … pray instead of playing games on your phone … pray when you are fixing dinner … pray when you are loading the dishwasher … pray when you go for a walk … pray when you are sweeping or dusting … pray rather than spend time on Facebook.
There is a call to pray from heaven so take it seriously! Spend time in focused and determined prayer for your friend.
It might just save their life …
3 – Show up and be a friend.
Put other things aside during this season in life and just be a friend.
Choose friendship over entertainment and over business and over distractions.
Take a meal.
Send an e-mail.
Give them a call – if they don’t answer – leave a voicemail.
Send a card in the mail.
Hire a cleaning service for their home. If you can’t afford to do it – gather a group of friends to chip in.
Mow their lawn.
Buy them flowers.
Give them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or store.
Babysit their kids or their pets.
Go to the grocery store and buy groceries.
Water their plants … wash their car … do carpool for them this week.
Be the hands and feet of Jesus when a friend is in pain.
Be Jesus with skin on.
Don’t just “say” that you care … “show” that you care.
Don’t just “say” you are a friend … “be” a friend!
And finally …
4 – Be a voice of hope.
“But encourage one another day after day as long as it is still called today.” – Hebrews 3:13
Don’t tell them horror stories about their condition … but be a voice of hope.
Don’t worry out loud with them … but be a voice of hope.
Don’t tell other people how bad it is … but be a voice of hope.
Send them scriptures in the form of text messages.
Send them the lyrics of powerful hymns of faith.
Help them to dream and think about the good future that God has for them.
Give them something to smile about today because a cheerful heart is good medicine for anyone’s soul!
Step up to the plate and be the friend that your friend needs you to be in the fires of life!
Who knows?! You might have born for such a moment and circumstance as this!
Thanks for listening to my heart this week. As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me. And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!