You know that feeling when you find a great friend or group of friends and everything seems to be going along great? The two or three (or more) of you hang out all the time and you find that you can do just about anything together and enjoy each other’s company. Everything is going along great…and then things change. Maybe your friend has to move away, maybe you move away, maybe your friend gets married or divorced or has some other life-changing event occur. Or maybe something else happens that changes your friendship, something that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you know things have changed.
These are tough times for sure. I think as humans we generally aren’t so big on change and when our friendships change or aren’t quite as fun, easy, or free-flowing as they used to be, we tend to be grieved by this. God made us to desire friendship and fellowship (Genesis 2:18), so it makes sense that we would have a hard time dealing with the changes that inevitably occur in friendship. It can be so frustrating to realize that a friend just can’t be there for us the way he or she used to be or that we don’t seem to connect on the same level that we used to.
There are times, that in our desperation to get things back to just how they used to be, we can miss some very valuable lessons that God wants us to learn in the midst of changing friendships. If you find that your friendships are strained, it may be that God is trying to teach you about forgiveness and reconciliation. Or, it may be that He is growing you as a person, drawing you closer to Him and making it more difficult for you to hang out with some friends that may be distant from Him. Sometimes, it seems it really can’t be explained why our friendships change. Sometimes friendships just fade or go away entirely, because they were only meant to be a part of our lives for a season.
Whatever the reason that these human friendships wax and wane, we can rely on the truths of God’s character during this season of change. We can know that the Lord knows the desires of our hearts and that we long for fellowship and He wants to fulfill that need. Even when it seems that no one else in the world is there for us, He is there to walk with us through all the trials of life (Deuteronomy 31:6). He can and will use others to help fulfill our desire for fellowship, but, we will need to do our part. We will need to work to reconcile with friends where we can, reach out to make new friends whenever possible, and remember that although the seasons of life may change and cause some friendships to drift in and out, Christ remains constant and He is waiting to meet with us each and every day.Casey West