Since we began our friendship in 2011, my best friend has texted me pretty much every day. She lives in Baltimore, where she works full-time, but she always somehow finds time during the day to send me a text--usually random information, and usually two or three, back-to-back.
"I got pizza grease all over that purse that has the paint [laughing cat emoji]"
"I think I might put oil all over and just make it dark gray"
Though her texts may imply otherwise, Kelsey is one of the most intelligent people I know. When I joke that our friendship is strange, she says that "every smart girl needs a Kem."
Kelsey is also really good at maintaining friendships. Her husband once told me that she still texts people that she considered mere acquaintances even years back. So when I didn't hear from Kelsey for a few days, and when her texts were very short and to-the-point, I felt the need to check on her. Maybe everything was ok, but I wondered if my friend needed more than a text about the shirt I just ordered online.
Jesus desired support from His friends, too.
When Jesus, who was about to be crucified, went to the Mount of Olives to pray, He took his disciples and told them to pray, too. When He returned to them, they had fallen fast asleep.
"And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation." - Luke 22:45,46
Jesus was disappointed that His disciples were there, but not there. He was sad that they couldn't stay awake to pray for Him. This was a trying time for Jesus, and His closest friends were snoozing away.
It can be easy for us to be there and not there, too.
As adults, we can find ourselves really busy with the day-to-day chores of life. We can become out of touch with our brothers and sisters in Jesus, and we can begin to assume that they fine because, well, they haven't said otherwise.
But Jesus expected His disciples to be just as prayerful as He was.
These guys were basically His brothers, and they saw, firsthand, the struggles and pain that Jesus faced. Instead of being wide awake with concern for their Master, they simply fell asleep.
When it comes to our relationships, are we awake or asleep?
Luckily, after prying a little bit, I found out that Kelsey was perfectly fine--just tired from working. Her eyes have been bothering her from wearing her work goggles, so she has been taking a break from her phone. I was glad I checked in on her, and I was thankful all was well her way.
By no means am I trying to insinuate that I am the prime example of a good friend. It took close to two weeks for me to recognize that my friend wasn't as "chatty" as usual. It took another couple of days before I made it a point to make sure she was alright.
Jesus set the standard by being constantly prayerful and concerned for, not only His disciples, but the entire world. I can surely learn from His example of reaching out directly, helping others in more tangible ways, and being more awake and present in my relationships.
Are you sleeping while your friend is struggling? Let's wake up, lift our friends up in prayer, and be more than just "there."