I’ve always had good friends. But I’ve learned that having them is not a common experience. Those who stick by you, I mean.
Let me explain. There were over one hundred ministers in my region of the denomination I served. I was a ‘member in good standing’. But trouble found me. Of those one hundred, only one bothered to get in touch. Only one, one time.
No one stopped by. But a local Roman Catholic priest had me preach in his hospital chapel service urging me to ‘get back on that horse’. A good friend. Another one was leader of the Jewish Synagogue, who urged me to use their building to start a new church, as they only used it on Friday evenings, and that only a few times a year.
Friends come as surprises. You know what I’ve learned? Get off the dime, reach out to someone who’s hurting. Care about someone else. Not only if they’re in the right. No matter what. Don’t say you’re a friend. Be one. Right or wrong, be there for them. Like God is for us when we’ve given Him lots of reasons to turn away.
1 Chronicles 27:33 is a gem. Earlier in Chronicles you find list after list of important people. Then we read the name of Hushai. He’s not in charge of the donkeys, olive oil, army officers or the worship singers. No, he is called David’s ‘friend’. The King has his counselors and advisors. In Hushai, he finds a friend.
Hushai in Hebrew means ‘quick’. That’s more than a hint. For when friends are in need, be quick to get by their side. Care…quickly. The Lord has shown me this. Not to write of it, but to do it. How about you?
Lord, thank you for dear friends. Amen.