“What a friend we have…” you know the old gospel song. It’s about Jesus. But it made me think about my own friends. The ones I have now and the ones I have had in different seasons of my life.
You know the kind of friends I love most? The ones who are not like me. As the saying goes, opposites attract. I like friends who don’t mind texting me first or telling me that the new top I thought was cute is, er, not. These are my kind of people.
I bet you have a friend like this. The one who is loyal to a fault. The friend that will not let it go, and is true to her heart – no matter the consequences. The one who, long after everyone else has thrown in the towel and moved on, is still giving one more second chance.
This friend will go out of her way to include the people who the rest of us haven’t thought about since we wrote them off. She will still send them the group text, even though she knows they won’t come.
Y’all, I’m thankful for friends who don’t mind calling it like they see it. Who lovingly correct me and offer other solutions. Who say the things I don’t want to hear. The friends who stay.
The older I get, the more I appreciate how God puts the friends we need during certain seasons in our lives at just the right time. They may not stick around forever, but they certainly leave an impression. Some other “friends” leave and, in their paths, a trail of heartache and destruction.
But there’s always that one. The one who is there to help pick up the pieces. The one you call with trembling hands and tears streaming down your face. The one who hears the “I’m fine” and knows you’re not. The one who sends you a handwritten letter after you get the diagnosis. The friend that leaves a casserole on your doorstep because she knows you’re too tired to entertain and too drained to make your own dinner. The friend that calls you in the middle of the week to check in.
I hope you have a friend like this. Someone who knows everything about you and is still hanging around. One who has seen your flaws but chooses to see a friend.
If you don’t, Jesus wants to be that friend.
I know you want someone to go grab lunch with or call on your way home from work. But don’t you also need someone to talk to when you’re not feeling it. When you can’t talk to your coworkers or family. Someone to share your burdens when you don’t think you can muster the energy to respond to another call, text, or email. When you’ve lost the person you thought would never leave.
He’s the God who stays. Despite you. Despite the times you left Him. The times you failed. Despite the mess. Despite the people you’ve hurt along the way. Despite the way you see yourself.
After everyone has given up on you, He’s there. He’s walking towards you. He is ready to listen. Thankfully, God is not sitting on some cloud rolling his eyes thinking “Here we go again.” He’s there to remind you that He already knows that you can’t do it alone. He knew it when He came here. He knew it when his “friends” betrayed Him. He knew it when He hung on the cross. He did it all for you. He’s that kind of friend.
He’s not the same kind of friend you are or I am. If that we were the case, this ship would have sailed a long time ago. Nope, He is the one who will continue to text you even after you tell him it’s over. He’s the one who will send you an old picture of happier days as a reminder. He’ll send you a friend in whatever season you’re in to help you find your way back to Him.
I’m thankful for my friend. I’m thankful that she is loyal. I’m thankful that she loves those around her – BIG. She loves like Jesus. I want to be that friend. I want others to know that, despite themselves, they have someone who sees them for who they are and loves them anyway.
Look around you. People are hurting. The statistics prove it. It makes my heart heavy to see the suffering of this world and how it has been exacerbated by this pandemic and loneliness. Y’all, even all those people who are “fine” could use a little extra loving.
What a friend we have in Jesus. Let’s be that friend. Let’s love like Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”
1 Peter 4:8-10 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
John 15:12-13 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”