I never would have thought I’d be thankful for termites, distance learning, and lockdowns.
Don’t get me wrong: Termites are gross and should be killed. Distance learning is lacking in a real education, presents many security issues, and can be considered class discrimination. Lockdowns violate civil rights and are perfect examples of government overreach and tyranny.
However, without the lockdown I may never have learned how much I love my church, my family, my friends, my freedom. I probably wouldn’t have seen what was really going on in our corrupt government without it. Without the lockdown, my kids never would have been put in distance learning and I probably would have put off taking the homeschooling plunge. And without termites I wouldn’t have learned so quickly what friendship really is.
I’ve had what I thought was friendship, but found out later (hindsight) it wasn’t really what I thought (I had to be told it wasn’t friendship by a real friend). The so-called friend was always looking for me to fill something for them. Rather than just having a fulfilling companionship of give and take, much of the relationship was take. And I didn’t know it because I needed a friend so badly that I overlooked the abuse; a pattern I have desperately needed to break. But you can’t know what real friendship or love is until you’ve experienced it.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”-John 15:13
Jesus is the greatest example of friendship and love. He gave up His life for us. Dying on the cross in our place, His blood paid the ransom for our lives. He lives now to intercede for us. He has gone to prepare a place for us to be with Him where He is for eternity (where moth and rust…and dare I say, termites, cannot destroy). And the extension of His love is the church.
When the lockdown came, my pastor stood firm. He laid it all down for the sake of the Body, enduring ridicule, threats of harm and government shut down, was ultimately betrayed by a fellow church. My church stood with him. This church family loves its pastor and one other, and would not allow each other’s rights (or anyone else’s) to be trampled. Over the last almost 6 months, we have met together to love on each other and encourage one another. I have been checked on personally by several members of my church, have forged new friendships, and solidified others. Real friendships.
Before I made the decision to homeschool, my Pastor’s wife took time to come over and work out the details with me, giving me confidence that I could do it and offering help. I’ve had my church family watch my kids, come and do little outings or just hang out with them during different days, and had offers of assistance. Most probably have no idea what a blessing they are and have been. They have come up under me and held me up to keep me going.
When termites invaded, immediately I had offers of places to stay, dinner, and offers of “what can I do to help?” Genuine displays of true friendship. During this “crisis” of mine, with things piling on and I wondered how I’d be able to handle it, God has given me a new understanding of what “friend” means. Friends value you, they don’t take from you. They bear your burdens with you, they don’t leave you alone in your pain. And true friendship is mutually beneficial.
It was hard to come to grips with the fact that these people aren’t just looking at me with pity or like I’m a charity case. I realized that my pride has kept me from true friendship in many instances. What I think of myself in my circumstance sometimes is a detriment to making friends and I project my thoughts on others. But, I’ve learned in the past few months and especially the last couple days that I’ve been sorely mistaken and in need of revelation.
So I’m thankful for the termites, the distance learning, and the lockdown. I’m thankful because it gave God a chance to change my heart a little more, to give me a new understanding, and a way of measuring friendship.
God can use anything to change us. What are you dealing with right now that you might need an attitude adjustment on? What crisis or situation is before you that could be used for God’s glory? What is God trying to tell you right now? We can all use a little growth, so what area do you need it? Ask of the Lord. He is faithful to give it. Just expect that it might not be what you expect. Be grateful for the obstacles, for the setbacks, for the mountains (even if they are made of molehills or wood shavings from termites).
Be blessed and keep your head up.