Take care of your strong friend…

We all have one. That strong friend who always seems to have their life together. While it seems like your life is in shambles, they always seem to have the just right motivational quote, or bible verse that helps lift you up at the right moment. They know how to talk you off the ledge when you are being completely irrational. They calm you down and remind you to be professional when you are this close to committing felony murder on a co-worker. It actually gets on your nerves a little bit how they have it together, and seemed to have had it together since 1998 while you were still trying to figure out how to use the remote control in your house (I still remember when I bought my first universal remote control, I thought to myself, “this changes everything”). How do they do that? How are they so strong? How do they stay motivated their entire lives? I got out of bed once and I have been exhausted ever since.

My wife is my strong friend. She has helped me through all my shortcomings. She always has these little sayings that fit the situation perfectly. For example, when things are just not going my way she will remind me of that old saying “When life gives you high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, simulated flavors, potassium benzoate, gum Arabic, Yellow 5…make lemonade (apparently no one uses actual lemons in lemonade anymore). Or when I get upset about little things, throw a pity party for myself, and blow things way out of proportion. She is there to calmly remind me that cowboys who ride off into the sunset quickly run out of daylight and have to make camp right outside of town. Probably should have stayed the night in town instead of being all dramatic. She is like an in-house Confucius. Like most people who have a strong friend, I take advantage of that and I lean on her a lot. She has her own stuff going on but she is a rock when it comes to me. Sometimes I am even offended when she is not there for me. That’s why I am writing this.

Take care of your strong friend. Find out what they need and be a strong friend for them. They weren’t always strong. No one starts off with muscles except maybe The Rock and I am convinced he was born with muscles. Other than him everyone else must train. Strong friends had to go through some ups and downs, trials and tribulations. Sometimes we don’t see what they had to go through we just get to see the finished product. We don’t know the weight their souls had to carry that made them so strong. Remember, when you are praising the butterfly don’t you ever disrespect the caterpillar. Those hard times before the cocoon happened are important to your strong friend. Don’t you ever forget that.

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 says God’s grace is sufficient. Paul said he would boast gladly about his weaknesses, for when he was weak that’s when he was strong. Your strong friend accepts their weaknesses, gives them to God and in return he gives them strength. You may see your strong friend and they may not be sick but they are not well because they feel they must be strong always for everyone. Take care of your strong friend.

I always knew I could help people but I had to learn how to help them the way they needed to be helped, not the way I thought they needed to be helped. My wife helped me to become a strong person because she allowed God to help her use her weaknesses to turn them into strengths. There was a time she would worry, nag, bother…she is probably going to read this so let’s go with “encouraged” me to be better. She is my strong friend and I am going to spend the rest of my life taking care of her. So, when she tries to feed me salads (or as I call it “expensive leaf nonsense”) I let her because taking care of myself allows me to take care of her. Take care of your strong friend. Don’t abuse, misuse, and/or take advantage of them. Take care of your strong friend (read that last sentence again because it’s important). If you allow God to use you, and you aren’t already, then one day you will be the strong friend and you will need someone to take care of you.