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On Standby

March 23, 2017

You may think you know who your friends are, but unless you go through something, you may never really know. Who is there with you when you face tragedy or trouble? I’d have to say I am truly blessed with some great friends. I’ve done some really foolish things and gotten myself in a lot of trouble. When I was down and out, without a job or a car, I quit hearing from an awful lot of people. However, there were some who didn’t judge me, at least outwardly, and supported me with words and/or actions.

This past weekend we studied one of the last sayings from Christ on the cross. Jesus looks out and sees just one disciple there alongside His mother. Jesus tells John and Mary to “behold,” or look out for one another (John 19:26-27). One of the beautiful things Pastor Steven showed us was Jesus noticed who WAS there. He was on a cross being crucified for our sins, yet He wasn’t focused on who wasn’t there with Him. Jesus wanted those who did stand by to the very end to continue looking after each other.

I have to make a true confession. Over the past 7 1/2 years, I’ve held a little bitterness to people who didn’t seem to care about me or stick with me. If I can learn to follow Christs’ example, my focus needs to be on the wonderful friends and family who have been here with me all along. Why dwell on who isn’t here? Will that affect them in any way? Of course not, it only hurts me to hold any bitterness. I can really feel a shift in my personal joy as I turn my attention at gratitude for those who are with me as opposed to who were not. Let the anger go, and if people really want to leave, let them go too!

How many times have I received grace from God? Too many times to count I am sure, and I continue to need it. Once you’ve truly received it, you have to give it. It’s not grace because I deserve it, so who am I to require things from others to give it? The ones I have been mad at, upset with, I have to forgive them! How long can you hold a grudge against someone who probably doesn’t even know you’re holding it? Who is that affecting? Ultimately, my joy is my job and if I’m holding resentment for people, I’m that one who is unhappy. The joy of the Lord is my strength, so if I can give grace like He gives I will never be stronger in Him!

To those of you who showed me grace, thank you so much! I will forever be grateful. I want to name you all but know I would miss some. Your godly example of love and kindness was noticed then and is even more noticed now. If I can return the favor I’ll try to be on standby for you at all times.

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