Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Proverbs 18:24 – “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” NKJV
What a beautiful winter morning here in North Texas as I have my coffee and conversation with the Lord. I Love mornings. I am an early riser and like to see the beginning of the day and lay out the strategy for the day in the early hours of the morning. This morning my heart turned to many incidences that prompted these verses and this thought.
I’ve been blessed to have some very good friends in my life and some are absolute treasures. I’ve had those who would and have gone to the mat for me anytime, anywhere and under any circumstances and I for them. I had a couple of those in High School and about six or seven in Vietnam that would have, and a couple almost did, die for me. We put our lives in each other’s hands and there was complete trust. In the ministry, I’ve enjoyed friends of the same character and level.
I’ve tried to be the same to them. What would you do if you received a call from someone you did not know but found that person was the daughter of a very dear friend and that friend was in dire need? Let me relate this story and you react in your own heart how you deem appropriate. The call came and as the conversation developed you realized that the person on the phone was the daughter of a fellow comrade in Vietnam. She recounted the situation was that when he returned home, his wife, the mother of his two daughters, informed him that she no longer wanted to be married to him. She informed him that she had found someone else during the year he was gone. He worshiped the ground she walked on and that was one of the things that kept him going while in Vietnam. He talked about his plans for the family, going back to school so he could make a better life for them and his dreams for their wonderful life that he anticipated they would live. This situation so devastated him that he turned to drink and then to drugs and had destroyed his liver and was killing himself. His daughter’s plea of desperation was, “Can you come and see him?” The problem was that he lived over 1,000 miles away and with personal financial struggles it was not realistic to make the trip. However, the bond between friends who have shared combat was so strong that as the daughter began to sob almost uncontrollably saying, “You are the only possible person he will listen to and if you don’t come he is probably going to kill himself.” What would you do? Sadly, the presence of an old friend helped only momentarily. His friend was unable to lead him to Christ but he promised he would give thought to Jesus and seek help. He did not and seemed to decline even more. There was joy about two months later, when the call came from his daughter that he had found a church, committed his life to the Lord, stopped drinking and had only done drugs once during that time. There was rejoicing in heaven and in the heart of an old friend. The investment was worth the prize!
If the story had ended there it would be wonderful, but the day before he had gone to a local convenience store to pick up some things and was mugged by a gang and beaten to death. They had brutally beaten him to death in the parking lot of the store with people watching and no one came to his aid. To this I say, “Thank God, he had a friend faithful enough and loving God enough they shared the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ with him before it was too late.” His daughter said, her dad felt he only had one true friend in this world and that friend’s coming so moved him he could not shake the message conveyed.
Unfortunately, too often we fail to cultivate that kind of friendships and never let them reach the level of Covenant. How many friends do you have that you would sacrifice yourself to go to their aid? How many would come to yours? I am blessed to have some friends who would drop everything to come to my aid if I had a need and I theirs. Yet, no matter how much we would be willing to do for our friends, we have a friend who is ALWAYS THERE and will ALWAYS BE THERE and His name is JESUS! He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother and He has the power to save! We need to look to Him personally and point all our friends and acquaintance to Him, for truly He is the Answer to what we need!
BLESSINGS as you enjoy this wonderful winter day in Him!