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Comings and Goings

November 11th, 2009

“Jesus . . asked, ‘Are you also going to leave?’” John 6:67 NLT

“Unfortunately, some people will come and go, in and out of your life.”

My thoughts today are about “comings and goings.”

Imagine this; the One who promised never to leave you (Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV) also felt the pain of abandonment. John wrote, “From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.” John 6:66 NIV. Jesus felt the very real emptiness from the loss of their companionship, and the very human questions of why and what that come to one’s thoughts.

Unfortunately, some people will come and go in and out of your life during your lifetime. Get used to it, without feeling deliberately defensive or abandoned every time there is a change in company. You can refuse to make it personal, whether or not they meant for it to be. Usually, they didn’t. Your emotions and hurt can cause you to assume that your life will be more empty than it was before, or you can choose to believe that your life has room for new companions.

I do not suggest that anyone is dispensable or that relationships are disposable, but the balance to that is the reality that not everything is forever and not every acquaintance is going to become and forever remain your best friend. Relationships that are too broad often become too superficial.

In your life, you will have acquaintances that intersect your life briefly. Enjoy the moment, but don’t set your heart upon them too quickly. Only time will tell what they are meant to become. Be open to the experience because you cannot always know who God will choose to link to your life for His purpose. Don’t let past experiences of disappointment close your heart or put distance between you and others.

There will also be acquaintances that become friends – for a season. The paths of your life and theirs align for mutual benefit for a while, some longer than others. Enjoy that, and them. Be the best friend that you can be. But you do not know when your life or theirs may take another path.

Value friends highly, but hold friends lightly. No one responds well if held too tightly or when too much is expected and required of them. It never works to hold people against their will. Know when it is time to say goodbye. Try not to be high maintenance in your relationships. Contribute what is mutually desired and enjoyed, but avoid keeping score. Give what you give because you want to do so, but not to obligate someone’s response.

You will also have friendships that endure, and will enrich your life, some for a lifetime. Prize those, because they are not always plentiful. Pour more of yourself into those relationships than you ever expect to get back. Lasting friendships grow within the safe bounds of mutuality, understanding, service, and sacrifice.

Sometimes marriages fail. They shouldn’t, but they do, because of the flawed individuals in them. Sometimes families are not the picture of health and harmony. You wish they were, but they’re not. Sometimes differences or distance comes between friends. You wish they didn’t, but they do. When feeling abandoned and alone, go to Jesus; you will find He will be there.

My prayer for you today is to be a great friend to others, and let Jesus be your best Friend!

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