Friends with Tow Ropes

I've been over some pretty rugged terrain on life's road lately. At times during the past few months it seemed like there were more potholes than pavement on my road, and I needed some help to get out of a couple of them. It's a good thing I have friends who show up when I need them, tow ropes at the ready.

During one low spot not long ago, I talked to one of those friends on the phone. We stay in touch online with emails and Facebook, but we hadn’t really had a good heart-to-heart in a long time. I grabbed a cup of coffee on my end of the phone, found a comfy chair in my living room, and settled in for a long talk. Poor lady, she had no idea what she was letting herself in for when she innocently asked, “So, how are you doing?” Well, I told her. I unloaded!

She listened to me go on and on, questioning why some pretty devastating things had happened to me and those I love. There are no easy answers to questions like that, but my friend said all the right things, all the wisdom I already knew but needed to hear from her unique perspective. I hung up feeling a little brighter.

And then, a few days later, I got a package in the mail. It was a book from my friend. She told me this book had helped her through a difficult time, and she wanted to share it with me. What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life is a really good, Bible-based book with ten practical steps to help you recover from the worst day of your life. Step number one is: “Weep.” Okay, I got that one down pat!

I won’t outline the ten steps here, but I’ll tell you it’s a book worth picking up. I’ll refer to What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life again and again. But what I got the most from that book wasn’t in the content. It was in the gift.

When I opened the package, I was so touched that my friend had taken the time to listen to me, to pray for me, and then to follow up with something that helped her during her own pothole days. Do you know why she did that? Because she loves me.

I was struck anew with a truth that amazes and humbles me – God loves me, too. I really am His beloved child. Through all of the trials, and all of the tears, and all of the potholes in the road, He has been with me. Sometimes He has given me moments of great peace, that peace that passes all understanding. And His peace felt out of reach, He wrapped his arms around me and comforted me through my friend. And not just through her. Every time someone sends an email to tell me I’m in their prayers, that’s God loving me. Every time someone calls to check on how I’m doing, that’s God letting me know He remembers me, and knows what I’m going through. Every time someone sends a card with a note of encouragement, that’s my Father, telling me He understands.

We are the body of Christ. We hug with His arms, we comfort with His words, and we love with His love.

So if you see someone stuck in a pothole today, grab your tow rope and lend a hand. Be the body.