A friend grappling daily to put her marriage back together.
Another grieving over the loss of her mother.
Another in the midst of an ugly divorce.
Yet another dealing with an unusually heavy barrage of life's ups and downs.
Women who have confided in me. They have bared their souls, trusted me with their hearts.
Some days I can (and should) only offer a listening ear. Then there are days when encouragement and wisdom are expected, needed. If I am steeped in the world, I will give worldy advice. As a believer I'm called to give more, and I can't give what I don't have. My relationship with Jesus is critical not only for my own spiritual well-being, but also for those with whom I come in contact.
With trouble and pain and dysfunction all around us, we have within our words the capacity to heal, encourage, reconcile and restore. We, by the power of the Holy Spirit, through our prayers and our words, can help others discern that which brings life from that which diminishes it.According to God, being a friend is a tremendous responsibility. How dare I think it isn't an "important" ministry! It is a privilege I shouldn't take so lightly, of more consequence than any other aspirations for ministry I could ever have.-Susie Larson, The Uncommon Woman
Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.~Proverbs 27:9 (ESV)
Oh, Lord! Forgive me for throwing away your riches to pursue rubbish. Help me to be the friend that my friends need, to encourage them, and to love them as You do.