The Impact of Friends

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Anytime you trip in front of your friends, the best thing to do is to just bounce right back up and keep on going. To the airport. And then leave the country. Maybe change your name.

Isn’t it a little hard to save face after your face just did a plant? Especially a face plant on gravel. Exfoliation gone so wrong.

The last time I took a tumble I didn’t do a face plant so there was no eating gravel or anything. But I think I do remember the faint taste linoleum for a while. It was in a busy hallway at church. So it was really more a taste of linoleum and humiliation.

It’s always nice to have friends nearby who will help you up. Well actually, to laugh uproariously for several minutes first, and then make merciless fun of you for years. But at least they do help you up somewhere in between.

I love the reminder in Ecclesiastes 4: “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up” (vv. 9-10, HCSB).

Proverbs 18:24 also makes a thought-provoking point. “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (ESV). There are times when it’s not enough to simply have someone standing by. Those surface-y kinds of acquaintances will come and go in our lives. But there is a true and lasting blessing in a friend who’s with you through all your ups and downs. Through every victory and through every tumble. And there’s great blessing in becoming that kind of friend to someone as well.

Since our Heavenly Father has so much to say about the importance of our relationships, and since He included this particular bit of friendship information in His Word, I’m taking that to mean I need to be reminded. We need each other—when we’ve just taken a header and just as much when we’re gracefully tiptoeing along. I find myself remembering all the clearer each time a close friend offers godly counsel or encourages me to seek the Lord. I remember it well each time friends spur me on or inspire me to walk closer to Christ by their godly example. And yes, still again each time a friend helps scrape me off the pavement after a spill.

If you’re experiencing one of those seasons in life when your close friends are not as accessible, could I encourage you to keep praying, asking the Lord to send a bud your way? Who knows? He might drop one right in front of you. Maybe even in a church hallway. On linoleum.

Meanwhile, Psalm 37:23-24 tells us that, “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand” (NIV). Whether there is a friend nearby or not, the Lord is never absent or inattentive. Even if there’s a bit of a spill, we’re lovingly held.

True friends? They’re a blessed bonus. It’s amazing how the Lord can use them to impact our lives for Him.

Good impact. Because now we know there’s impact…and there’s impact on linoleum.

Two are better than one…a cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.                                                                                                                                            Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12 NASB

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The impact of friends – thoughts from @RhondaRhea on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

rhonda rheaAbout the author: Rhonda Rhea is a TV personality for Christian Television Network and a humor columnist for great magazines such as HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and many more. She is the author of 12 books, including Fix-Her-Upperco-authored with Beth Duewel, and a hilarious novel, Turtles in the Roadco-authored with her daughter, Kaley Rhea. Rhonda and Kaley are also excited to be teaming up with Bridges TV host, Monica Schmelter, for a new book and TV series titled, Messy to Meaningful—Lessons from the Junk Drawer. Rhonda enjoys speaking at conferences and events from coast to coast and serves as a consultant for Bold Vision Books. She lives near St. Louis with her pastor/hubs and has five grown, mostly-coffee-drinking children. You can read more from Rhonda on her website or Facebook page.

Join the conversation: How has a good friend picked you up and dusted you off in the past?

He Cushions Our Fall

by Cindi McMenamin

I’ll never forget the summer we took our 4-year-old daughter to the John Muir Woods near San Francisco. Dana was trying to keep up with two boys of similar age who were running on logs, climbing up and jumping off of rocks, and having a grand adventure.

We were having a great day, except…each time Dana climbed up and ran across a mossy (that means slippery) log, I would yell: “Be careful, Dana.” My constant warnings were beginning to annoy my husband. Hugh didn’t want his only daughter growing up timid or fearful of trying new things.

By the third or fourth warning, my husband had just about had it. “Stop worrying about her, Cindi, she’s not going to fall and get hurt!”

“You don’t know that, Hugh” I responded. “She could easily fall and get hurt. I just want her to slow down so that won’t happen.”

She’ll be fine,” Hugh responded with a sense of finality.

As soon as those words left his mouth we heard the shriek. We turned just in time to see Dana slip from a log, fall through the air a few feet, and then roll about 15 feet down a grassy, wooded slope!

My rescue instincts kicked in, and as I bolted toward her, I feared the worst. I envisioned twigs sticking out of her eyeballs, a few broken ribs, abrasions and cuts from the rocks, and — even worse — a concussion from the fall.

I reached her first, relieved to see that she had no twigs sticking out of her eyeballs. She was whimpering, but appeared relatively unscathed.

My husband arrived just behind me and said “What a great fall, Dana! And that was an awesome roll. And look, you’re not even hurt!” At that, she grinned, re-gained her confidence, shook off the dirt from her clothes and started back up the hill to join the boys.

I realize my husband could have been wrong about his “she’ll be fine” theory. Dana could’ve easily hit her head on a rock when she fell, or lost an eye from picking up a twig on her roll down that hill. But she didn’t. And I thanked God the rest of the afternoon that she was protected from my worst fears during that scary-looking fall.

I have been reminded on many occasions throughout my child’s life that her Unseen Protector is always there to cushion her fall and get her back on her feet again. And even when situations look scary, those situations are not outside of His control.

Just as God has always been there for me, He will always be there for you, too. And for my child. And yours.

Can you trust God today that no matter what happens to your children He is there to cushion their fall and get them back on their feet again?

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”  Psalm 37:23-24 NIV

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is a wife, mom, national speaker, and author of 16 books, including When Women Walk Alone, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter,  and 10 Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom.  She and her husband, Hugh, have been married 30 years and they collaborated on her newest book, 12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband. She and her family live in Southern California. For more on her resources to strengthen your walk with God, your marriage, or your parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number 10 Secrets Worry-Free Momgenerator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Cindi’s new book, Ten Secrets to Becoming a Worry-Free Mom,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: Do you struggle to trust God with your children’s well-being? How has He proved Himself to you?

Photo by Frank Flores on Unsplash