Jump Start # 2629
Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”
A dear friend dropped by the other day. I haven’t seen him in a while and boy it was refreshing to my spirit to see his smile and hear of the good things that he is doing. Friends are like that. A person is blessed to have friends in his life. There are all kinds of friends. We have them from our school days. Some have kept in touch with grade school and high school friends for decades. College roommates. Neighbors. Co-workers. Some have moved on to other jobs, but you keep in touch. A lot of hours have been spent with these people. Many of the famous bands from the sixties originated as school friends who started playing together in basements and garages. Mother Teresa said that loneliness is the modern day leprosy. God understood that it was not good for man to be alone. When Elijah was hiding in the cave from Jezebel, his thoughts went dark. When alone, things seem the worst. Nothing beats a good friend.
Many of us have that, but what is the best of all, is when your dear friend is a Christian. Now, you have the greatest blessing of all. A bond that is thick, true and wrapped in the Lord Jesus. This is something that we need to get our young people to appreciate. There will be many people in and out of their lives, but hang on to those spiritual giants. I believe God gives them to us for a reason. They can make a difference eternally for us.
Consider a few thoughts:
With a true Christian friend, there is a common understanding among us. We both stand upon the word of God and we both want to go to Heaven more than anything else. There are things we know and we can talk about freely that friends of the world would never understand. Our love for worship, our desire to see the kingdom grow, our frustration with the world, and our need to do more are conversations that happen over and over with dear Christian friends. We offer suggests on how to improve things. We look at passages and share ideas with each other. There is such a love that cannot be found anywhere else and with anyone else.
With a true Christian friend, you know his words are true and helpful. Even when they sting, you know that he comes from a heart that loves and is built upon the Scriptures. He’s going to remind you of things that you know the Scriptures teach. His words are sound. His way is gentle. He walks with the Savior and that shows. We need people in our lives that will tell us the truth, not what we want to hear. We need Biblical honesty and to get there, we need people who know God’s word and know us. The world tells you to be happy, no matter what it takes. True Christian friends will tell you to be holy and to honor God, no matter what. Their words may be painful, but they will keep us next to the Savior. We need that.
With a true Christian friend, you can be honest with. There is no fear of something being said or done that is out of line. There is no concern of things being repeated. They love you for who you are. They have been with you at weddings and funerals. They have sat with you in surgery waiting rooms and have listened to you pour your heart out to them over the phone. You have laughed with them and they have seen you cry. You have worshipped together, eaten together and been in each other’s homes. Even though you may be miles or even states apart, there is a bond that is strong and enduring. Their friendship encourages you. Their relationship brings out the best in you. They want to be like you and you want to be like them. It is a blessing to have dear Christian friends.
With a true Christian friend, there comes a time when one must leave the other and leave this place. The dying actor Gary Cooper told his famous friend Ernest Hemingway, “I’m going to beat you to the barn,” referring to his death. Just two months later, Hemingway took his life. With Christians, it’s different. We know that we will see each other again. We know what a blessing it is to leave this place in the arms of Jesus.
There is a wonderful YouTube video of two musicians, Carl Perkins and Paul McCartney. McCartney, one of the Beatles, is one of the greatest song writers and musicians of all time. He admired and was heavily influenced in his earlier years by Carl Perkins. Perkins, was overwhelmed that years later McCartney asked him for some help on one of his songs. They met on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, where there was a world class recording studio. The night before Perkins was to leave, he wrote a song for Paul, “My old friend.” The chorus reads,
“My old friend,
thanks for inviting me in.
My old friend,
may this goodbye never mean the end.
If we never meet again this side of life,
in a little while over yonder, where it’s peace and quiet,
My old friend,
won’t you think about me, every now and then…
and I’ll think about you,
my old friend.”
And, to those wonderful words, I can add names. Old friends that have helped me. Old friends that have made a difference. Old friends that are so dear to me.
“I’ll think about you,
my old friend.”