When Friends Leave
Did you ever argue with a friend when you were a little kid? I mean, one day, y'all are celebrating birthdays together and playing Barbies, then BOOM, they get mad over something and find a new best friend?
Did it make you wonder why? Did you reach out? Maybe tell your mama, and she reached out to your friend's mama?
But nothing changed. You had to watch your friend, with her new bestie, play on the monkey bars during recess?
Did it hurt your feelings? I bet it did.
This has happened to me in the past. I daresay it’s happened to everyone. If it hasn’t happened to you, then maybe you’re the one who got mad and found a new friend.
When someone leaves your life, you have to wonder what you did. Even as a kid. You wonder what you could’ve done differently!
Did you have to find a new friend? Sometimes, it’s for the best. And back in the seventies, all you had to do was talk to another kid, and they’d most likely be your friend, no questions asked!
Would the loss of your first friend still hurt? Yes. Would you be saddened by the situation? I’m sure.
Did you ever consider that your friend stopped talking to you because they were embarrassed by how they acted? Or by something going on in their life? Perhaps their daddy lost his job. Or their parents were getting divorced. Maybe that’s why they didn’t want to face you. Embarrassment.
Maybe your friend didn’t realize you would've stuck by them. You just weren't given a chance.
What about Christ?
This line of thinking leads my mind to Christ. If our friends have the power to hurt us by leaving our lives, how must Christ feel when we sin, turn from, and reject Him?
One of my favorite Bible Verses is Matthew 23:37. It is a verse that simultaneously makes me happy and sad. These words came from Jesus to His people. I look at the world today and think He must feel the same way He did back then. So many don’t care to know Him today. They have no idea what they’re missing.
Let's look at the verse; you will know what I mean.
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"
Jesus likens the care He would have given His people to a mother hen gathering her chickens under her wings.
What a beautiful, beautiful thought! How I long to be gathered under the watchful, protective, loving care of Christ!
Do you know much about chickens? About how mother hens fight for their babies? I will admit that I don’t know a lot about chickens, so I did some research.
I found an article by Karen Davis, Ph.D., President of United Poultry Concerns. "The Hen is a Symbol of Motherhood for Reasons We May Have Forgotten, So Let Us Recall."
Ms. Davis writes:
… “The Renaissance writer Ulisse Aldrovandi described how, at the first sign of a predator, mother hens will immediately gather their chicks "under the shadow of their wings, and with this covering they put up such a very fierce defense – striking fear into their opponent in the midst of a frightful clamor, using both wings and beak – they would rather die for their chicks than seek safety in flight." Similarly, in collecting food, the mother hen allows her chicks to eat their fill before satisfying her own hunger. Thus, he said, mother hens present, in every way, "a noble example of love for their offspring."
Is this not mind-boggling? A mother hen fiercely fights to protect her children. Think about Christ using this example when describing how He wanted to care for His people.
That love has never wavered. He loves us today just as much as He did back then. I have no doubt about that.
But the people would not let Him, they rejected Him. This part is the sad part. Christ came to them, sought them out, offered Love, reconciliation, redemption, a place with Him in Heaven! But they would not, they rejected Him! Why oh why? My heart hurts at this thought.
Christ lamented over that rejection. Does He mourn when reject Him, turn around and walk away today? Of course, He does.
Do we leave Him/refuse Him because of something we’ve done? Something that causes us to be ashamed?
Or maybe we’re like the little kid whose daddy lost his job – we don't think we’re good enough.
If we truly love our Lord and want to know Him, we can. But we must be willing to put in the time. How can we know Him, about his love, if we haven’t read about Him? How can we have forgiveness if we don’t know what He requires? How can we please Him and obey Him if we do not know His commands? How can we expect to go to Heaven, if we do not know the way?
He loves us so much and wants us to turn to Him. To know Him, to be obedient to Him, to love Him, to spend eternity with Him. He wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him, to have a home with Him for all eternity in that beautiful place called Heaven!
That, my friends, is true!
Do you realize how much Christ loves you? How much He wants to help you through those things in your life that cause you pain? How His love endures?
Psalm 136:26 makes my heart jump in my chest. It brings such comfort to my heart and soul. Let's read it.
"O give thanks unto the God of heaven: For his mercy endureth for ever."
God's steadfast love will never leave us. So why do we choose to reject Him?
Our friends most likely can survive without us. No doubt. They will be fine. But what makes us think we can survive without Christ?
Simple answer. We can't.
Oh, we may get by in this world. We may live day to day, thinking we’re doing well. Thinking about self. About all the world has to offer. Never contemplating why Christ died for us. Never contemplating what happens when I die unprepared to meet God, what happens when I cross the veil of death into eternity without Him? What happens when I stand before God, without Christ to plead my cause? Make no mistake about this… If you reject Him in this life, He will reject you in the life to come. The end to all of those who reject His saving grace is to spend eternity in torment, in the lake of fire, in utter darkness, where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth!
Mark my words, DEATH IS NOT THE END!
Don't let the Day of Judgment find you without Christ, unprepared!
Some of our friends may walk out of our lives for good. And that's ok. Sometimes it’s for the best.
The loss of friendships will not keep us from going to Heaven. Unless we somehow sinned in that situation. If so, that must be addressed and repented of.
The thing is, you WILL lose your soul if you don't take steps to reconcile with Christ.
Take those steps. Please. Don't spend eternity regretting your life. Lamenting the pain you caused Christ. Yes, you.
How you might ask. By obeying the gospel of Christ.
By following the example of 1st century Christians.
What made them Christians then will make us Christians today. What is that process?
Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32)
Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31)
Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)
Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32)
Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)
Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)
Don't wait until it's too late. Please.
In Christian Love,
Image by Pezibear from Pixabay