A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
As children of God, we are family, connected by the blood of Christ that was shed for us on the cross. As brothers and sisters, we are called to love one another, especially in times of trial and hardship.
In today’s social media culture, the word “friend” has lost some of its meaning. We can have literally hundreds of friends online, many of whom are little more than acquaintances. But our true friends are the ones who stand beside us and love us through times of trial.
I was recently reminded of this kind of love and friendship — ironically, due to one of those online connections. One year ago, the teenage son of an old high school classmate tragically took his own life. Upon hearing this news, another member of our class began a vigorous effort to gather as many friends around our classmate as possible. Through her determined efforts, she managed to locate most of our Senior class. Classmates who had not been in touch for over two decades rushed to stand beside our friend in the midst of this tragedy. Many dropped everything and traveled from all across the country to get back home for an impromptu reunion. We formed a foundation in the son’s name to help other teenagers who are struggling with depression.
A year later, we continue to gather in love and support of our friend, and our own relationships are stronger than ever. We can’t change what happened or remove his pain and grief, but we can be there and stay by him, honoring his son, loving him as family, as God’s family.
Our love for one another shouldn’t be fickle or only when it’s convenient for us. True brotherly love is sacrificial and not always easy. We should model Christ’s example in our friendships. He made the ultimate sacrifice of His life for us. He didn’t have to. He chose it. He doesn’t avoid those dealing with trials, or run from those of us in pain and need — He runs to us and fulfills His promise to be with us always. He never, ever gives up on us. And we can be that kind of friend, because of the grace and strength we have in Christ.
What kind of friend are you? How do you react “when the going gets tough”? Do you look to Christ’s love and faithfulness for your example?
Dear Lord… help me to be the kind of friend You want me to be – the kind of friend Jesus showed us how to be. Help me to practice sacrificial love – to put others first, even when it’s difficult. Help me to recognize when those around me are struggling, and show me the ways I can love them through it. Open my eyes, ears, and heart to what I can do for my brothers and sisters. Help me to be forgiving and loving, and to be a friend who stays and never gives up. Amen.
Submitted by: Joy Archibald