All it took was one social media post for me to realize we were worlds apart. Weeks and months of no response to my texts were one thing, but this was something different all together. As kids we were so close, but my heart finally started to wonder; are we just two very different people now?
This week, Pastor Jason talked about how hard it can be to lose a friend. I know the feeling all too well. I’m sure you do too. One minute, you are enjoying a million little moments together, the next – you can’t remember the last time you talked. And sometimes, it’s just a slow ache in your soul that this person is drifting further and further away from the Lord and there’s nothing you can do about it.
I can’t imagine how Paul must have felt as he watched the Galatians slip back into legalism. Undoubtedly, his heart ached as they were enticed by the Judaizers who only wanted to take from them. Or when they celebrated holy days, and checked off all the boxes thinking they were now right with God. Had the pull of the law become so strong that they forgot the good gift of grace? His heart quietly started to wonder…Did I do all of this work for nothing?
With all that Paul was going through, physically and emotionally, we see his heart was in the right place. He honestly and truly cared for the eternal security of their souls. That’s why it hurt so much. That’s why it hurts us so much, too.
You know that one person you are praying for that just seems too far gone? Keep praying. Don’t give up on them just yet, because God hasn’t.
Ultimately, we want those people in our lives to realize that all the riches, fame, wealth and status will never truly satisfy. So we pray for that day, and we wait with expectant hope.
As we pray and hand it over to Him, we can begin to ask ourselves, “what are the intentions of my own heart?”
The good news is we don’t have to fully discern or understand this for ourselves. God promises us in Jeremiah 17:10 that “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind…”
He also promises us “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…” (James 1:5)
So as we wait and watch and feel heartbroken at times, we can rest in knowing that God will discern our motives. He will reveal them to us if we ask, and provide us hope in even our hardest relationships.
So, let God do the work. Don’t lose hope and give up. Remember, Paul himself was among the chief persecutors of all Christians (Galatians 1:23). There is hope for anyone in Jesus.
Let’s stand by the mighty One who promises to redeem every broken corner of our lives. I’m going to keep praying for that friend of mine, and I hope you keep praying for your friend, too. We may not be able to change or fix them on our own, but we serve a God who is always ready and willing to come to our aide. And in the end, He cares more about that friend than even you or I do.
So, let’s keep trusting, keep waiting, and keep living out the truth to which we are called. He will redeem all that seems lost.