found this beautiful picture on the internet…
Do you sometimes feel that people use you? You seem to give and give to a particular person, friend or family member, but when you need something that person is never there for you? They never check in on you. How about when you are in a conversation and it is dominated by their issues and ‘you’ never come up; even though you have issues too? You are often a good ‘go-to’ person, but it is never reciprocated. You are there to help, to lend, to listen, to cheer up, or just there, but it feels one sided.
Many of us become frustrated, irritated and resentful in these scenarios. Friendships fall off and relationships often become strained. People feel used, abused, misused and plain old taken for granted. This topic has been in my spirit for a little over two months now and I have been dragging to write on it. As I was mulling it over weeks ago, I came across an analogy that the late Dr. Myles Munroe used.
He was giving a seminar and he said that he had to learn and understand that the reason people came was to partake of the gift he had to offer. He likened it to an apple tree. The gift of the apple tree is the apple itself. People go to the tree to pick and eat apples. They don’t care whether the tree will bear more apples or not. They don’t care about the leaves, the limbs, the roots or anything else about the tree. The tree on the other hand is not discriminating who gets apples nor is it worried about keeping apples for itself (eating its own fruit); it serves its gift: apples.
There are those who take from us what we serve. Things like advice, counsel, companionship, loyalty, unconditional love, knowledge and a plethora of things. It is a mistake for us to believe that we will also receive, from them, what we gave them. Many times that comes from an entirely different source. Just like God sends the rain and the sun to nourish the apple tree. And perhaps a gardener prunes the branches and takes care of the other areas of the tree, so He does for us. God replenishes us and there are those whom we ‘get’ from. We must quickly identify who these people are in our lives. And more times than not, we don’t ‘give’ to them. It is such a beautiful interdependent circle, and in my opinion it keeps us humble to be able to serve others with our gifts; because someone in turn serves us. People pick apples off of my tree and I pick mangoes off of someone else’s 🙂 (I love mangoes!)
Anyway don’t let me ramble.
A few years ago a friend ditched me when I needed her. I was so hurt, because if I am nothing else, I strive to be a loyal friend. God told me that I put her in the wrong bucket and she couldn’t give me what I needed in a friend. That hurt because I truly loved her and wanted her to be my friend; the kind that I was to her. Many of us find ourselves in this situation or similar ones. Our frustrations might be justified, but that person might not be capable of giving us what we need. Can we accept that?
These are my thoughts on this cold Wednesday 🙂
I encourage you not to be weary in doing well to others… (Galatians 6:9).
Serve others what you have been blessed to serve, we each are relying on the other’s gift.
Tags: abused, best friends, friend, friends, gift, gifted, gifts, God, irritated, love, resentful, serve, used
“She slipped into a coma and she’s not breathing on her own.
She went in to get a blood clot removed and a piece of it traveled to her lungs. She was without oxygen for about an hour. She’s my best friend and I asked God not to take her. He could take whoever else he wanted, but not her!
She has been through so much, the loss of a child, a number of current ailments and as I looked at her on that bed, she looked so tired Jackie. I wanted God to heal her, I didn’t want to lose her, she has been a great friend to me from day one and I wanted her with me. But as I stood there, God said I was being selfish. Selfish!
She had actually received Christ a couple days prior. And God said to me “she’s saved”. I prayed for God to have His will. He is able to heal, but sometimes that’s not His will. I am at peace inside either way; I can’t even explain it, Jackie.”
I listened quietly. My mind recalling our bible study two days prior. My pastor had talked about being in sync with God’s will. Especially syncing with His will when a loved one is going through an affliction, when an elderly parent is sick and in pain, and when we have to watch our children endure growing pains etc.
While in that study, one of the brothers talked about his elderly mother being in the hospital. Every time she was admitted he would pray for God not take her. He didn’t want to lose his mother. She would be in pain, incoherent and out of it at times. But she finally told him, quite clearly, that she was tired. He said he knew what that meant.
I listened quietly on that day too. It is truly in these scenarios when my spirit is the calmest. I am sure footed on the sovereignty of God, but there is a finesse that only God has when He tells someone they are being selfish in such a situation.
I can honestly say I was thankful I was on the listening end; with soothing words and an I love you.
Sometimes we pray for a thing and the way God goes about it is most definitely not the way we want Him to.
Sometimes the answer to the prayer is no.
‘What if your blessings come through raindrops, what if your healing comes through tears…what if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise? (Laura Story’s ‘Blessings’)
My heart aches with encouragement right now. For the praying friend who waits patiently for her best friend to awaken from her deep sleep. For the sister who just buried her mother a day ago. For the person struggling with a new diagnosis of pain. For the mother and father trying not to intervene on the process God is taking their child through.
I think on my talks with God when my own best friend was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I badly needed His perspective.
Accepting God’s will might pain us at times, but I truly can offer no better alternative.
Be a support today, smile, encourage, pray, give, be there, listen, hug and give an I love you. It makes a difference 🙂
Tags: acceptance, best friends, coma, friend, God, His will, listen, love, multiple sclerosis, selfish, will