(see previous post)
While friendship extends to Paul’s and Timothy’s, the Barnabas’ are the people we are closest to. Unfortunately, friendship is hard. It is messy, hurtful, disappointing, and often confusing. The biggest reason for this is that most of us are subconsciously trying to mold our friend into being like us. We appreciate their differences initially, but then often get frustrated when they do not respond to life the way that we do.
One of the hardest things about friendship is finding one. Often we have to be the pursuer and consistently be the one who calls, texts, and initiates relationship. We don’t like this because we don’t like to be vulnerable. If we put ourselves out there, there is a chance we will get rejected, and we certainly don’t like that, so we play it safe, keep our distance, and then wonder why we don’t have any deep friendships.
The Lord has been overly gracious with me the past 10 years. He has consistently put guys in my path have become Barnabas’ in my life. One encounter stands out. I was taking a week long seminary course, and met a guy who asked me to play putt-putt golf with him and two other guys. Competition is one of my favorite things s I agreed. After a few afternoons of us teaming up to beat the other guys, I was in. At the end of the week we had breakfast and talked about a few real things that were going on in our lives. We exchanged cell phone numbers and promised to connect when we got back home. We did just that and Adam is one of my best friends today. Our friendship over the past 7 years has been just as I described: messy, hurtful, disappointing and confusing. BUT, the joy of walking through life with others overshadows all of those realities, and allows us to experience life and relationship that God designed us for.