Sunday, October 23, 2011

Best Friends Forever

Friends come and go in life, don't they? If we are blessed with one good friend in this life, well then, we are blessed indeed. A friend is one to treasure. They are to be held dear to our hearts. While reading this morning I found myself in 1 and 2 Samuel. What a life David lived. I mean, he was a man after God's own heart. He was not perfect in any way at all, but the thing that is of treasure here, is that he tried to live for God. Sure, he made mistakes. He faltered more than a few times. But each time, he knew. He knew what God had for him and he chose to do it his own way. But each time, God lead him right back to where he was to be.

Have you been there with David a time or two? Your trying with all your heart to walk in faith and then out of no where, you make a choice that effects the rest of your life? Not only your life, but the life of another? David was blessed with a friend like, Jonathon. Jonathon was ready and willing to stand with David no matter the cost. He warned him of his father's threats and he protected him with his life. Have you wondered where your friends are of late? Have they been there by your side through the difficult times in your life or do they just seem to pop over when all is good? A friend isn't to cause you to fall. They are to lift you up. They are to help you be accountable in a loving way. Sometimes all we need is for a friend to say, "I understand."

David and Jonathan had a bond together. They had a vow of friendship. I am not so sure a vow means much these days. We seem to take friends and throw them aside when they aren't needed any longer. Ever feel like that yourself? A friend is to stick to you like a brother. There is a bond between friends. It says, "I'm not giving up on you and your not going to give up on me. We will walk this journey together." But too often than not we just end up walking away in anger or a misunderstanding. Was that friendship not of any value? What I love about their friendship is they were not expecting too much or too little from one another. They weren't looking for something in the other that they weren't willing to give themselves.

"So Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, saying, 'May the Lord destroy all your enemies!' And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself." 1 Samuel 20:16-17

What is beautiful between this friendship is that it is based on love and faith. Not in each other, but in God. How they lived for God speaks volumes at the kind of people they were. How they walked with the Lord shines light on what kind of friend they were to be. Their trust began in God. He was the center, the core, of  their friendship. A friendship that lasted until their last days. A friend will walk that mountain of glory with you and help carry you through the valley of humility.

Friendship is something to be honored. Not used. It is something to cherish. Not take for granted. Friendships come in all shapes and sizes. God places people in our direct path that we wouldn't think would fit our friend mold, but in fact, God knows us better than any other. Until we reach beyond our circle and outside of our box, we will never be blessed with the friendships God has for us.

God is that Forever Friend. He is that Friend who is always there. He isn't leaving just because we make a mistake or take a step back. He is that Encourager that says, "Don't stop now. Keep the faith!" He goes before us each and every day. He stands beside us through thick and thin. He stands guard behind us so that there is nothing to fear.

"God's way is perfect. All the Lord's promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection. For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress, and He makes my way perfect." 2 Samuel 22:31-33

We can look to David's and Jonathon's friendship as a guide to what friendship means. The strength and honor these two men carried could have only been given by God. A God who led them to victory. Who washed them with mercy and grace. They carried valor in their swords every where they went. Isn't that how we are to be? Shouldn't we stand in truth?

Lets be that kind of friend to another that we want in our own lives. Everyone isn't going to be just like us. In fact, that is what so beautiful about a real friendship. Differences don't matter. They only make you shine brighter together. Those little quirks that are so unique in us can touch others and bring laughter and surprise. On a day when all seems to go wrong, all it takes to make it brighter is the hello from a friend.

"I  cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun."  Chuck Swindoll

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." C.S Lewis
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