My friend, may I ask you a question? Think about it. How many times have you hidden yourself or distanced yourself from someone else’s hurt because the risk was too apparent? We’ve all done it, and perhaps that’s why best friends are singular, good friends few, and just friends more common?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
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One of the more difficult things to do in life is to walk into is someone else’s hardship. Our own hardships are one thing; despite whether we see them coming or not, we own them, devastation and all, for the moment. Personal hardship always evoke some kind of emotion one way or the other. There are times we’re angered, and times we’re sorrowed. There are times we’re puzzled, and times we’re resolute and seeing clearly. In most cases there’s some kind of reliable emotional coping mechanism we enter upon when hardship is personal; but when as a friend we walk into someone else’s difficult, even tragic moment, it takes a special kind of emotional magic to draw on our sometimes faulty store of wisdom in order to conjure an emotional response applicable to their emotional wounds without making things even worse. That’s challenging at the very least. It takes a special kind of friend to do this, a best friend no doubt. There are many friends, even good friends, who aren’t able to cope in this manner. They feel the hurt but prefer to avoid the personal contact which may open them up to sharing or carrying the hurt. Not our first choice, as many would admit.
Think about it. How many times have you hidden yourself or distanced yourself from someone else’s hurt because the risk was too apparent? We’ve all done it, and perhaps that’s why best friends are singular, good friends few, and just friends more common?
In John 15:15 Jesus calls us his friends? What manner of friendship is he offering and asking in return: best, good or just Here’s a thought from a Bits & Pieces devotion: “A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following: ‘One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable.’ ‘One who understands our silence.’ ‘A volume of sympathy bound in cloth.’ ‘A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down.’ The winning definition read: ‘A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.’ (Bits & Pieces.)
What differentiates a best friend from a good friend or just a friend in times of trouble? A best friend doesn’t wonder if or postulate as to when. They walk in without reservation because their attachment is not founded in sentiment but in self-sacrifice. There are some good friends, perhaps, that will think about it, even make a decision to give it a try, but do so from a sentiment of “I really ought to” and not “sorry I didn’t get here sooner?” When Jesus talks about friends he is talking about friends that stick closer than a brother; friends who sacrifice without regard for themselves. Many of us have an affinity for Jesus, but he’s looking for more. As Jesus was delighted, even filled with joy, to do the Father’s will, this is what he promises us as a friend and, in return, desires from us in return. Do you have just an affinity for the Savior, or are you overjoyed that he calls you his friend. He will be there, the first one in and the last one out, when you’re in trouble. He’s my best friend and your’s as well because he will never abandon us when all others do. In turn, may we be willing to joyfully devote ourselves to loving and following him. Good or just friends is insufficient; best is uncommonly better.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us a Savior who will never leave or forsake us in times of the deepest sorrow and hurt. Forgive us, Lord, when we base our friendship on a will to do our best, instead of a commitment to being the best. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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