What A Friend

October 13, 2013 · 7 comments

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It’s so hard for us to accept help from people, isn’t it?

For various reasons, the physical logistics of getting our daughter to and from school were overwhelming. When school started this semester someone proposed a plan to help make our school drop-offs and pick-ups a lot easier. It was a good plan to fill a real need. Even though it was obvious that I needed my friend’s help, it was still hard for me to say yes.

During a particularly dark time when I was struggling (and choosing not to struggle) with bitterness, a dear sister called me regularly to pray with me and ask me hard questions about my heart and my choices. This was real help for a real need. But still—it was hard for me to say yes. And it was hard for me to keep saying yes by answering my phone, returning text messages, and answering her honestly.

Each of us has limitations, weaknesses, and blindspots. You would think that it would be like second nature for us to fill in the gaps with help from others. But we like to pretend we are self-sufficient and look omni-competent in the eyes of others. It’s commonly said that there is no shame in asking for help. But pride stubbornly blocks the door for shame to exit.

Pride is no virtue. It is hell-bent on our destruction. Pride is part of “the course of this world,” promoting our entrapment of slavery to sin. Pride dupes us into believing that if we work to preserve it, we preserve ourselves. Pride desires no savior because pride pretends to be the savior. Pride is an obstacle to accepting the help we need from our friends. We wouldn’t want to inconvenience anyone, right?

We need friends who can see through pride’s façade of selfless-ness and dive in to help us. We need to be those friends to others. Do you have friends like this? Praise God for them! They image the greatest Friend anyone could ever have.

Why Do We Sing So Many Songs About Jesus’ Blood?

We have a need that is more desperate than our need for help from others in day-to-day life. As omni-competent as we may feel, we are powerless to save ourselves from our sin. We don’t just need “a little help from our friends” and we don’t just need assistance to “fill in the gaps.” We need a Rescuer. A few weeks ago a visitor to our church asked me, “Why do you sing so many songs about Jesus’ blood?” In short, here was my answer: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Jesus served us by giving his own life to pay the penalty for our sin. He is the Ultimate Friend who sees through our sham of self-sufficiency, and he has the power to save us to the uttermost. Even while we were dead in our sin, scorned the idea of a Savior, and said in our prideful hearts, “I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you, Jesus”… he went to the cross anyway. The cross was no mere inconvenience, for on the cross Christ paid the ultimate price and shed his own blood so that his enemies could become his friends. This was his intention since before the world began—“the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

What a Friend we have in Jesus!


ABOUT THE WRITER
Gloria Furman (@gloriafurman) is mostly from Texas. In 2008 she moved to the Middle East with her husband Dave to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai. They have four children ages six and under. Gloria is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms (Crossway 2014).

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca Helbig October 14, 2013 at 8:48 am

Wow! This line was a jaw dropper: “Even while we were dead in our sin, scorned the idea of a Savior, and said in our prideful hearts, “I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you, Jesus”… he went to the cross anyway.” Very convicting, Mrs Furman. xx

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2 Tim October 15, 2013 at 1:22 am

I agree with Rebecca; that line is powerful, Gloria.

The past few weeks have been horrendous for me (more on the details on my blog tomorrow). On Thursday I was about to head into a meeting at an annual conference and saw Dave, one of my closest friends, in the hall. “I need to talk to you later.” He said OK. “Actually, I need you later.” He told me he was all mine. So we went for a long walk and I unburdened myself, and then we had dinner together and caught up on what’s happening in each other’s families.

At one point he said, “You know, people call you all the time for help. It’s about time you let someone do this for you.” Dave is really popular among our colleagues, yet he cleared his evening at a moment’s notice for me. What a blessing.

And it’s only a shadow of what Jesus has done. He didn’t clear his schedule for us. He cleared himself out of heaven to be among us and bear our burdens for us, giving his life to reconcile us to himself. What a friend indeed, Gloria.

Tim

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3 Gloria October 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Indeed! Thanks for sharing this story, Tim. Will check your blog for more.

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4 Tim October 16, 2013 at 12:24 am
5 Gloria October 16, 2013 at 10:15 am

Wow, Tim! “…who can find?” By God’s grace, Tim did! Praise the Lord :)

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