What a Friend...
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
In 3rd grade my best friend was Eunice. I loved Eunice. She was smart and funny and had so much personality. She was quite outgoing compared to my shy and introverted self. Eunice was my very best friend, until the day we were assigned to work on a project together and Eunice did not do her part. I was working like crazy trying to do the entire project. And do you know what Eunice had the audacity, the unmitigated gall to do? Honey, she stood in front of that class and that teacher and took every drop of credit for that project.
At that moment I knew I had to re-evaluate my friendships. I was heartbroken and amazed that she would do such a thing to her “best friend.” I didn’t know a lot about emotions or feelings in the 3rd grade but I have forever remembered that time and that feeling, and I never wanted to experience that feeling again. Tragically the feeling came at the hand of a “friend” and that made it worse.
Going forward I was and am very cautious about who I call my friend. I remember hearing my mom sing, “What a friend we have in Jesus; all our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry EVERYTHING to God in prayer.” I didn’t completely understand the entire meaning, but it sounded good and that was the type of friend I needed; one who would share my burdens with me and who would carry the burdens of my grief. I started looking for friends with these characteristics. And believe it or not I found a few.
Friendship is sacred. If I have called you my friend that means that I would and will literally do just about ANYTHING LEGAL for you. It means that I have a responsibility to you. I am accountable to you. I have your back through thick and thin and the in-between times.
The definition of friendship is personified in Luke 5:17-26. Jesus was in town speaking to a group of people in a house. I imagine this group of friends heard that he was going about town healing the sick and raising the dead and decided they wanted to get their paralyzed friend to him. But when they got to the house to see Jesus, there was no room, no entrance into the house. The house was crowded, full of people taking in the word of God. The group of friends did not allow the crowd to stop them, they climbed onto the roof of the house with a man in a bed, made a hole in the roof in the place where Jesus stood and lowered their friend in the house right in front of Jesus. Can you imagine what Jesus was thinking? Luke 5:20 says when Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
So listen, I have read that story 193 times but when I read it this time, I saw the qualities that I want and NEED in my friends.
I have been sick for the past 3 weeks, feeling rough, in and out of doctor offices, emergency rooms and I have had some friends who had showed up at the ER, purchased my food to make sure that I ate, called me when the spirit lead them, checked on me, prayed for and with me, encouraged me and made sure that I had EVERYTHING I needed. That’s what friends are for!
I have a wonderful friend in Jesus. We all do, but I encourage you to find some wonderful friends on earth. You must have friends that will pour into you, who will be bold and audacious and help you confront your problems. Friends who will have faith when your faith is wavering; friends who are strategic and who will not only pray, but work with you and for you to ensure your healing is manifested.
We were never meant to do life alone. Jesus created friendships. He walked daily with 12 disciples and did life with them.
Today, I encourage you to be friendly and make some friends who will not hesitate to cut a hole in a roof at somebody else’s house to get you to Jesus. Also, don’t forget to live in the RED. You are LOVED and FORGIVEN!