Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
Some of you may remember the old James Taylor song, You’ve Got a Friend. Yes, my inner hippie is coming out again. I always liked this song. And in my younger life I actually tried to live out being a friend to people. There’s a verse in the song that went like this, “Hey ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend when people can be so cold. They’ll hurt and desert you. Well they’ll take your soul if you let them, oh yes, don’t you let them.” Far out, right? I guess the gist of song was that while others might let you down, James Taylor never would. He would be a true friend. From what I understand, he wasn’t.
Like I said above, I actually tried to live out this song in my early, hippie atmosphere life. But you know what, I generally failed. Oh, I could be a friend as long as we got along, had good times together, and didn’t get into arguments. But the bottom line was I was selfish and wanted my way. Friends came and went in my life.
I recently learned some things in my life regarding relationships. They are good, and God never met us to go at life alone. One of the first things He did was create a friend, of the same kind, for Adam. Yeah, as much as I enjoy cows, camels and zebras that I see out here on the prairie, they don’t make that good of a friend.
So I turned my attention to people around me. That’s not a bad thing, especially now that I have become a Christian. But there was a time last year that I got so hungry for some kind of a good relationship that I went overboard. I put seeking relationships above seeking a relation with the only true friend I can ever have, Jesus Christ.
Around Christmas last year was a totally dismal time in my life. It was the third anniversary of my wife’s death, I was (and still am) working in a place where there was no one around my same age that I could be close to. Oh yes, the students and younger staff were always around and for some reason some of them liked me (They even call me Uncle Bob). But I knew in my heart that I could not rely on them to break the pattern of isolation and loneliness I had fallen into. (Believe me. I find writing some of these posts very difficult and somewhat too revealing. But I also find out that it benefits some people, so I do it anyway). Anyway, back to my story. I later discovered, partly through Stonepoint re:generation I am in and partly through a book that I received in the mail from a friend, that I was putting relationships ahead of God.
Sometimes we become so blind with trying to fix our lives that we forget the only One who can really fix us. Is there anything wrong with seeking help and comfort from others? Of course not! But there is something wrong in putting your friendships and relationships above our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without realizing I had done this, that is exactly what I was doing. I confessed this to God and asked Him help me change my ways.
I can tell you for a fact, that when you ask God to change you to be more like Him, He will act. The problem, at least for me, was to get to the place where I trusted God to take care of everything in my life. No, my situation hasn’t really changed. I still spend a lot of time in solitude. But I have discovered ways of using solitude to God’s glory rather than turn into myself. What God had changed was my attitude about my situation. That made all the difference.
Now, I fully expect to struggle with this for the rest of my life. I think Satan uses loneliness and depression as a tool to cause us to isolate ourselves. Once we let that happen, we’ve lost the battle and Satan wins again. But I also fully believe that God is trustworthy and has my best on His mind. One of my favorite parables the lost sheep in Luke 15:1-7. Jesus, being the good Shepard, would leave all the other sheep under His care, in order to find the one sheep that is lost. Are you that lost sheep? Just before I became a Christian, I bought a little ninety-nine cent book in a drug store by Billy Graham called Peace with God. On the cover was written this verse: “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. I can still remember that little book with the rather poor photo of Billy Graham on it. But that was probably the first verse I saw that meant something to me. Soon after that day, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ as a Christian Navigator meeting at my college.
Friends, please take time to search your life and ask God if there are any areas you are putting ahead of Him. If He reveals anything to you, please take time to confess and repent of it. A true Christian will be one who seeks to be Holy before God. I believe a first step toward holiness is to confess anything that God reveals that you or I have placed ahead of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Enough said. God bless you all.