Friendship must be one of the most underrated things in this world. It’s brilliant, wonderful and many other massive superlatives. It’s also really hard. Really hard to not mess up, read too much into things, and seems so fragile at times. It’s hard not to try to fix friends lives when what they really need is an encounter with the living God. I can’t generate that, which is slightly frustrating. For years now I’ve wanted a magic wand to make life better for those around me. It’s hard knowing how much to try and help, to grasp the right words to say and when to say them. And dealing with the complex reality that sometimes saying words doesn’t help, sometimes they do, but working out when and where to say them is tricky.

I guess the only thing to do is to try and stop second guessing other peoples thoughts, trust in God to look after the work He has started and ask him for opportunities to help in sensible ways. The reality is, however hard I try, I am not God. I am not the centre of my friends lives. He is. But it’s hard to discern between the voices that want to support and be around for someone, and the pouring of support to give ME an indespensible role in someone else’s life. There must be some way of working out the difference?

Whatever I should be doing, or am getting wrong there is one thing I can do:

Lord, I put my mates into your hands, keep them going, strengthen and hold them in your care, help me be of use in their lives in a way that brings us all closer to you as our strength and refuge. Help me not want to be the centre of their existence but help me be a Good Friend. Help me not grasp them too tight, help me be honest and real and a lover of you first of all. Be their God and their hope. Help us all have grace with each other in your family. Let your story shape and transform ours. So we are free to love without manipulating or controlling. So we can be free from jealousy, envy and pride. Shape our fragile messy existences so that they reflect more of your beauty.

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