I hear the weariness, the resignation in her voice. I see the sparkle missing in her eyes. She's worn down, tired, asking God for relief He doesn't seem to give. She tells me the latest and I listen intently, trying to understand, looking for a different approach only an outsider could see, yet it's complicated and I feel inept and helpless. I've got no solutions, no way to fix her situation. I've prayed with her and for her and see little change. God is working, I have no doubt, but. . .
What's a friend to do when there's nothing to do? What's left when you've listened and prayed and have no advice, when all you can do is wait on God? How can you be a good friend when words sound trite and completely inadequate?
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Speak the Truth. Remind her what is true. She may already know it, but bringing it before her again helps her focus. It buoys her whether she recognizes it or not. Uttering the Word of God is the kindest thing I can do, for it is the only thing promised to yield her ultimate good even if she doesn't accept it or like it or fails to see immediate relief or inspiration. His Word will not return empty. It will accomplish what He desires. It will achieve His purposes.
A friend offers the Word of God.
I know this is not easy and often feels awkward. What if it's a hard word she doesn't want to hear? Do I pour salt in her wound? What if she thinks I'm off my rocker or finds me "too spiritual?" What if she rolls her eyes at my offering and tells me I don't understand?
But what if my holding back deprives her of God's message? If I truly love her and want what's best for her, I will give her the best salve I have.
Be a real friend.
Speak the Truth.
Offer the Word of God.
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