Do you think we’ve become a disposable society? Seems like everywhere I was this week, people were telling about “being done” with someone. I know I have tried to work through relationships that have faltered, failed for one reason or another, but it has always bothered me to just say, “I’m done.” Maybe that’s the optimist in me that always thinks if you work hard enough, you can make it better. But I watch children give up on their parents, parents walking from their children, siblings not getting along and just giving up on each other, best friends walk away from their friendship over one small thing that was that “mountain out of a mole hill.”
I believe God created us to get along with each other, and I think we need to try harder. I’m not saying, of course, that we need to put up with abuse, or even neglect. And sometimes we can only do so much. I’ve always encouraged anyone I knew who was thinking about divorce to do EVERYTHING in their power to make it work: Counseling, forgiving what seems unforgivable, whatever it took to get to the root of the problem. A lot of people just don’t want to go that extra mile, and they’d rather be done with it and start over. That is, until you start over and you realize that a new relationship has just as much work as the old one did – perhaps just in different areas. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
When being disturbed by this subject this week, Jesus reminded me of the scripture of the lost sheep and how He would leave the 99 and go search for the one that was lost. I know it is a spiritual analogy relating to our heart’s condition, but it seems these relationships we have thrown away all lead to loss, and sometimes if people hold things against us as Christians, it can prevent them from seeking the one who can truly erase their hurt. I am reminded of a friend I had made while our kids were growing up, and we would do things with our girls together. Something happened with her daughter while I was chaperoning a school trip, and the daughter and I ended up in a huge confrontation that did not end well. I wasn’t sure whether the daughter had told her mother what happened, and I didn’t want to rat it out, but I didn’t want to lose the friendship with the mother either. I sort of waited it out to see how it might go down, and I didn’t really hear back from the mother, so I assumed that the mom was mad at my discipline of her child, and I just chose the coward’s way out and never really addressed it all.
Oh, how I missed my friend, though, and I often regretted letting that friendship just slide away. I would think that maybe I should open up the door of conversation, and then I’d figure it was just too late and too much water under the bridge, and I should just let it go. Long story short, after many years had passed, the mom and I ended up at a bridal shower together. I knew she was going to be there, and I was so hopeful she would receive me well and we could reconnect. We got to the shower, and as soon as I saw her, my eyes welled up with tears, and I just went straight to her and hugged her. I had missed her so much! And why, why, why did I let something come between us and ruin all that time we could have been together? It was pride and cowardice and stupidity and just plain laziness, I think. My friend and I reconnected after that shower, talked things out and have been close since then – and I vowed to never let another friendship slip away just because neither of us made the first move.
I would encourage you today, examine your relationships – look into the past for those that you let just fall away by neglect, or you let fall away due to a fight or a disagreement, or those that you have just determined in your mind “I’m done.” Think about how you would feel if they were to die with this unsettled business between you. Think about whether your actions might prevent them from coming to know the Lord. Think about what you are missing that might enrich your life if you just reached back out for that friendship you no longer have. Think about that relative who wrote you off or you wrote off who could come back into your life if you were just willing to reach out and start over. Let’s not “unfriend” each other so quickly…
I’m not sure who this story is for today – perhaps it’s just me – but God is reminding me that the days are short, our time is limited, and we must make good use of it. I would encourage you today, go search for that one that is lost….perhaps you will even be able to lead them to the One who Heals all Hurts!
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.