And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care.
I have that annoying character flaw of being too much of a thinker. I can get so lost in my thoughts that reality starts to dim. That is not to say that I sit around thinking all day long. On the contrary I work like a mad woman but so much of what I do gives opportunity for the mind to get absorbed in all kinds of thoughts. And so I think and pick apart conversations; turning them over and over again, wondering the heart behind the words.
This way of laboring over words and intent serves me well in many areas. It is what helps to make scripture come alive to me. I turn passages over and over trying to hear the atmosphere in what was said; trying to peer into the heart and mind of the one being quoted or discussed. It serves me well when counseling someone; I listen not only to the words, but to the heart of the one sharing with me and I listen for the different angles/directions each thought could take. A word is not a word, just a word. Who we are and what we are going through puts unique meaning to words at different times and places. So I am grateful that my mind clicks on different cylinders and I can tune in to more than just appearances and words. BUT it also can be a giant stumbling block in my life and my walk of faith.
I can think myself into depression. I can think myself into loneliness and despair. I can think my heart into ways that it normally would not feel. I can so overanalyze someone or something that it no longer is who or what it/they truly are. Crazy right?! Ugh!!!!!! That is when I call on the “angels” that God has so graciously placed in my life; my friends. They listen to the utter nonsense coming forth from my mouth and the amazing part is that they do NOT judge or criticize or try to “fix” me. They simply love me and listen. That gives me the freedom to pour all of those ridiculous thoughts out of my head. I can dump them right out on the ground around me and then my mind is clear again; FREEDOM! AND the even crazier part is……………………..my friends love me BECAUSE of who I am. They love my crazy, whacked out brain.
Paul, an incredible disciple, the toughest man I have ever read about, needed care from his friends. How would scripture have been different if Paul had not had the care of friends? I don’t want to even imagine how my life would be different without the care of friends……and coming from my brain, that says a lot!!!
Cherish the friendship that the Lord has given to you. They are a treasure beyond measure.
In His Name,