The Key to Refreshment: Fellowship
I have learned the value of friendship. There is something in the idea of knowing that I am not alone that brings comfort to my heart when it is in turmoil. Life is hard. Sometimes it is scary. Often it is draining.
God has filled my life with some really great people. Family members, kids to minister to, high schoolers to spend time with, peers to share life with, and mentors with wisdom to glean from. I love each and every one of these people. Each relationship brings something different to the table. I am thankful for them all. But only a few of them leave me feeling refreshed.
It is important for us to develop relationships that are not solely about our ministry. It is wonderful to spend time with the youth we minister to. There is tremendous value in getting to know them and entering into their world. My house is safe place for many of my high school girls to come to, and I love that. But if I become completely depleted, then I am no good to them.
We need friends to speak truth and life to us. Paul makes no apologies for admitting his need of this encouragement from his friend, Philemon.
Philemon 20 says, “Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.”
We are meant to “benefit” each other, “in the Lord.”
I find that I am the most refreshed from friendships in which I can be completely and totally real.
We need people that we can be entirely ourselves with, without the fear of being judged. (I did not say without being challenged.) However, in order for a friendship to become deeper, and reach that level of refreshment that we are all longing for, than we have to be willing to be vulnerable.
Refreshment comes when there is a need. If we only present ourselves in a way that communicates that we have it all together every minute of every day, then we have no need for refreshment. However, when we take a risk, and open ourselves up to the people we are in fellowship with, weariness gives way to refreshment. Walls that were put up for self-preservation and fear of rejection come tumbling down, and waves of acceptance, grace, and peace flood the soul of the one who was weary.
Who do you have in your life that you can truly let your guard down with?
If your answer is no one, I feel for you. I have had many seasons in which I lacked the kind of fellowship I was longing for. But I got to a point in my life where I was done complaining about it. I started praying instead. And the Lord answered swiftly. Remember that you will not attain this level of fellowship with everyone. You don’t need many; you just need one. The Lord will be faithful to provide for you exactly the friend that you need, precisely when you need them.
Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Consider growing and challenging yourself through one of our networking/training groups starting the week of September 24th.
Check out Jenny's blog at www.mydoubleportion.com to read more of her writing.
Jenny is passionate about encouraging other people to find intimacy with the Savior. She hopes that you can see Jesus in her, particularly through her writing. She works full time as a hairstylist as well as an assistant for her father’s business. Jenny is also a full-time college student, majoring in Literature and Writing Studies. She is a “self-proclaimed” writer, but is getting her degree so she can be a “real one.”
She has been doing youth ministry at Foothills Christian Church for seven years. She started doing a jurnior high group with sixth graders, and has followed her girls all the way through to their current senior year. The most prominent struggles of her life took place in her high school years, and she has used her testemony to tell of God's faithfulness.
Some random quirks about Jenny: She has abnormally small feet, and can fit into kids shoes. She is very proud of the fact that she can get a pair of Tom’s shoes for $20 cheaper. She eats “fishies” (Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, yes, the ones that are served in pre-school), every single night, and keeps a large box handy by her bed. She loves coming up with nick-names for people…and things. She named her laptop Alex, her car (a red jetta) Ruby.