“Is it normal to have fewer friends when you walk with the Lord?” My daughter wanted my thoughts on a question she’d heard. The question reminded me of different people I’ve counseled and of a few Scriptures. If your circle of friends seems to have shrunk after growing closer to the Lord, let me encourage you.

You’re in good company

The Scripture offers many examples of people whose circle of friends was reduced after the Lord called them.

  • Abraham left his friends and family.
  • Joseph was isolated from his family.
  • Moses spent 40 years in the desert away from the Hebrews and Egyptians he’d known.
  • Some believe Paul spent three years alone learning from God after he came to faith in Jesus.

For good reason

  • They had to learn Christ’s voice: These people were chosen by God to play important roles in His story and display His glory in special ways. It was imperative that they become so familiar with their Shepherd’s voice that they would recognize it when they were surrounded by many voices.
  • They had to learn Christ was enough. They had to face their own weaknesses in a way that only solitude and silence allows. The lures of this world had to lose their power over them. God was drawing these people into a deeper, more personal relationship with Himself. What better way to learn to trust Him than to have only Him to rely upon?

Your circle may grow again

At the right time, after a period of refining, God enlarged their circles again. The quality of their relationships, no doubt, improved because these people now related from a place of grounding.

Proverbs offers these bits of wisdom:

  • “Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find” (Proverbs 20:6 NIV)?
  • “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:25 ESV).

Periods of loneliness help us recognize and value the rare gift of a truly faithful friend. We also learn that Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother and who will never leave us. This period of pruning shapes us into faithful friends of God and a select few.

Where have all your friends gone? If it seems they have disappeared for a while, embrace this time as an opportunity to cultivate your relationship with Christ and to mature as a person. Abraham was called the friend of God. Christ calls us His friends. Learn how to be a better friend to Him, and you’ll recognize and appreciate your true friends.

Click here to comment.

Blessings,

Debbie W. Wilson

Linked to #livefree Thursday

Photo found: http://alone-alone-alone.blogspot.com/

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Marilyn Couch

    What a Friend we have in Jesus!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen!

  2. Teresa Hamby

    Really like this article

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Teresa.

  3. Karen Zilen

    Good Morning Debbie,
    I just want to thank you for your post today. So well written and so true. I have found this especially affects Christian workers who move and work abroad because all their natural support systems from their home country are now gone. This would force, not only a deeper look at their relationship with God, but also a deeper look into themselves. They were no longer being propped up by all their other supports (some good and some not so healthy at all). Thankfully, this is when some would want to scratch that ‘itch of aloneness’ and come for counseling to allow other eyes help them better see and work on these areas.
    For me, moving back to the U.S. after over 15 years abroad has also uprooted many of my ‘supports’. And yes, as a counselor who has taught and helped many others with ‘Transition’, I have found this one much more difficult than I expected. True, we moved to an area (Chattanooga) where we had no connections (except our son and family) and to a part of the U.S. where we had never lived, the South. I missed my friends, especially my two ‘soul friends’. Just as you said, Debbie, this forced me to re-look at Jesus as my Friend. Easy words to write but not easy to do. And, even amidst my tears and sadness at times, I knew I wasn’t alone.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Karen, thank you for sharing your heart and experience. My daughter went through an unexpected transition when she returned to the states after living abroad for only a year. I can only imagine the transition you’ve felt. When we lived in four states in four years, I remember how lonely I felt when I had to start over with each move. I’m thankful God was with me and drew me closer to Himself then and in my moves as a single. I wouldn’t trade that. I wish you and John lived closer to us!

  4. stephanie sudano

    Thank you Debbie for today’s blog. I’ve been talking lately with several parents of middle schoolers, high schoolers, and even college age kids – and I think this is especially something they struggle with. This is a encouraging word that we can share with our children.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Great idea, Stephanie. We know there will be times they will experience loneliness. What a good idea to prepare them and let them know the benefits!

  5. Nina Blevins

    Oh goodness, Debbie. What an encouraging post. I was just telling a group of ladies Sunday night how incredibly lonely I’ve been since moving to NC over 7 years ago. Refining? Yes. Pruning even? I think so. Spinning around the Potter’s wheel, molding, shaping…definitely! And you are so right about seasons of loneliness being great opportunities to draw closer to the Faithful Friend. I’ve learned more about myself than ever these past few years because I’ve learned more about Him. God bless you real good this week as you encourage others to find their rest in Him.

  6. Karen Del Tatto

    I found this post very encouraging. The last couple of years I have found myself void of close friends. It isn’t that I don’t have close friends, I certainly do. But those friends lives have changed and my life has changed making the times we spend together and the communication we once had with one another few and far between.

    I was especially encouraged when you stated:

    “This period of pruning shapes us into faithful friends of God and a select few.

    Where have all your friends gone? If it seems they have disappeared for a while, embrace this time as an opportunity to cultivate your relationship with Christ and to mature as a person. Abraham was called the friend of God. Christ calls us His friends. Learn how to be a better friend to Him, and you’ll recognize and appreciate your true friends.”

    I’m so glad I visited! 🙂

  7. Debbie Wilson

    Thank you, Karen. I’ve had seasons where I feel like I’ve been pulled away from my friends. It’s not what I’d choose, but I’ve been enriched for having gone through it.

  8. Crystal Hornback

    Love this post. Although the pruning period can be trying and painful, I am grateful for recognizing true, Godly friendship in the end. Those friendship are treasured! #livefree

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Crystal! Thank you my livefree friend.

  9. flora

    Thank u Debby,u just made my day.

    flora

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Flora!

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