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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

A Friend

Series: Renewal

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV

1 Samuel 18:1-4 ESV

I Samuel 20:30-34 ESV

Those of us who have moved around a lot (especially ministry people) have often made and lost more friends than most people.

Ministry people are more apt to lose and gain “friends” more often than most folks. That’s because there are people we’ve met through the years who are not really interested in having long distance relationships. Through the years I personally have remained good friends with a few people.

One of those people became a lifelong buddy. She now rests in the arms of Jesus, but while that makes me sad I know I will see her again.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

While moving several hours away from a place where we spent a significant amount of time living was difficult there were always blessings that awaited us on the other end.

Two are better than one.

My mother had led a very different kind of life.

She moved to a new town when she was fourteen years old and she stayed in the same area for more than 80 years.

She had the blessing of having lifelong friends who relied on her as much as she relied on them. She was given the blessing of long-life but now she has outlived all of them. She lost two good husbands and countless best friends.

The truth about her is that she loves people!

She is the kind of friend other people knew they could rely on. She was always ready to help a friend when they were in trouble. She did not keep score about how many times she helped a friend. She simply lifted them up and kept going.

Her commitment to her friends reminds me of David and Jonathan.

In 1 Samuel 18:1-4 we are told, “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.”

The covenant made by Jonathan and David was a lasting covenant. In 1 Samuel 20 we learn that Jonathan went to great lengths to protect David from his father Saul. In 1 Samuel 20:30-34 because Jonathan protected his friend David from his father King Saul Jonathan put himself in danger. “Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.” Then Jonathan answered Saul his father, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. And Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had disgraced him.”

Jonathan loved David so much, he was willing to put himself in danger in order to protect David.

Saul’s anger and jealousy of David continued and all the while Jonathan protected David from his father.

Saul continued to pursue David to harm him and several times David could have killed Saul, but he chose to spare the king.  Even so, King Saul did not fully reconcile with David.

To his death, Jonathan did not turn against his beloved friend David. Jonathan and David remained beloved friends to the end.

In the same way, Mother had friends (many friends) that she loved and supported to the end.

All of her life-long friends have gone to be with the Lord. She stood at their graves and said goodbye to each one.

Last year she moved back to live near the place where she was born. She carries each friend with her in her heart.

There may be many more, but I can count at least five women in her life she holds in her heart and she was their friend and companion for more than fifty years.

They encouraged and supported each other as we are told to do in I Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

They were devoted to each other as Paul told them to be in Roman’s 12:10, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

They really loved each other. Proverbs 17:17a tells us, “A friend loves at all times.” They did love and support each other to the end.

Now, well into her nineties she remembers each one and is grateful for their friendship and love.

One really good lifetime friend I lost a few years ago gave me a picture that said “hold onto good friends.” Today, it is one of my most cherished possessions. I am ever so grateful for her friendship and love!

Spiritual Practice: Friends

Remember and hold onto good friends.

In God, Deborah


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