Monday, July 7, 2008

We don't walk this trail alone



“The Christian life is a pilgrimage. At times the road is difficult and we get lonely. Sometimes we may get discouraged and consider abandoning the journey. It is at such times that God will place a friend alongside us. One of God’s most precious gifts to us is friends who encourage us and lovingly challenge us to ‘keep going.’ “
By Henry T. Blackaby & Richard Blackaby from their devotional book, Experiencing God

When my husband and I were camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota, we took leisurely hikes each day through the canyons and gulches, enjoying the wildflowers and wildlife along the creek beds. One day we decided to follow a trail which lead upward to a beautiful vista. We had no idea what kind of hike we had chosen until we were a little ways up the trail. The sign said that we would travel up 1,000 feet in less than 3/4 mile.

Feeling a little blond, I paid no attention. 3/4 mile seemed like a short easy hike. No problem, right? Until we started to walk vertically.

I sat down for a breather to ease my huffing and puffing. Was all of this effort worth it? Maybe we should have just turned around and called it a day. We had seen plenty of beautiful sites already anyway.

There have been many times when I wanted to give up and it might be easy to do that if there weren't someone by my side, encouraging me to continue.

For me, this person has been my lifetime lover.

Ecclesiastes 4
10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


I think Blackaby was talking about fellowship - true fellowship. Not pot lucks and Christmas teas, but friends who stop everything to pray for you. People who call and check up on your spiritual progress, brothers and sisters who ask you the hard questions.

I don't know about you, but that kind of fellowship has been hard for me to find. I've had a friend here or there who has encouraged me along the way, but often those friendships wax and wane. Other than Jesus, there's been one friend who has never left my side. My husband.

He listens to me whine about my constant struggles with the same issue over and over again. He sees Jesus in me (and points it out) when I think I'm just a miserable sinner. He builds me up with his words of encouragement on a daily basis.

He helps me up when I fall down and he's got the courage and the rapport to be able to tell me when I've really blown it. Together, we fight the battles of life side by side. We pray against Satan's attacks and we lift each other up.

Sometimes, our trail is an uphill climb, but when we are walking together, taking breaks together, cheering each other on, the hike becomes more manageable. And at the end, we get to enjoy the rewards of our labor together too!



Bonnie is our hostess today at Ink it Blog - go visit her to hear more thoughts on this topic.

8 comments:

Michelle Bentham said...

"I think Blackaby was talking about fellowship - true fellowship. Not pot lucks and Christmas teas, but friends who stop everything to pray for you. People who call and check up on your spiritual progress, brothers and sisters who ask you the hard questions."

I sited Ecclesiastes 4 in part of my post today as well. Loved this - great nugget of wisdom. Thanks for sharing... We do have to move into relationships that sharpen and refine our lives. Thanks for some treasured sharing today.

Blessings.

jamie in rose cottage said...

My husband is one my truest friends, too.

Susan said...

Heather,

I know I keep saying the same thing each time I visit your blog, but I have to...

THIS WAS GREAT!!!

You have such a gift and you use it so beautifully. I'm so grateful for the day I first stopped by your blog!

What you shared about friendship was right. The true ones are rare indeed.

Isn't it wonderful to be able to call your husband your best friend?

Glad you decide to continue on your hike, WHAT A VIEW!!!

Blessings♥

Truth4thejourney said...

Hi Heather,

I am stopping by via Lysa's blog today. I really enjoyed this post. You are so right about true friendships being few, except for Jesus and our spouses. They are the ones who are willing to encourage and help us grow.

We do need to look for women in our lives who can be encouragers, as well. God is relational and He made us to need relationships, too.

I'm sure I'll be back by to read more. :)

Julie said...

I could have written your words. I have "friends" what I am missing is "heart sisters". Friends are people you can greet at church, or go to the pool with and just sit while your kids play. Heart sisters care for your heart.
They walk through the valleys and the mountains with you, because your heart matters.

I am thankful for my husband, but I look forward to the day I have heart sisters in the flesh....

In the meantime I have enjoyed the friendship of God like never before.

Hugs,
Julie

lori said...

I think Blackaby was talking about fellowship - true fellowship. Not pot lucks and Christmas teas, but friends who stop everything to pray for you. People who call and check up on your spiritual progress, brothers and sisters who ask you the hard questions.....

You know I have to say that you are just so right....There are those we surround ourselves with...GIFTS on the journey...but our greatest gift, the one we committed ourselves to...that is entirely different...I am blessed to have married one too...one who stands by my side...

Heather...you are a gift to us out here! You are a blessing...I say it over and over again...you BLESSED me...again with this one!!
peace,
lori

Denise said...

Sweet post my friend, love you.

Bonnie W said...

Heather, it sounds like your hike was well worth it - both the view when you arrived as well as the time spent with yout Encourager!
Thank yo for sharing so beautifully today.
Bonnie