“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is there for times of trouble”—Proverbs17:17 (ISV).
What does it mean to be a friend?
I heard a pastor describe it this way, “A friend is a treasure who loves you as you are, sees not only who you are but who you can become, is there to catch you when you fall, shares your everyday experiences, accepts your worst but helps you become your best, understands your past, believes in your future, accepts you today just as you are, and comes in when the whole world has gone out.”
Proverbs 17:17 puts it this way. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is there for times of trouble.” In this case, brother doesn’t necessarily mean a blood relative. Instead, the writer of this scripture is talking about Christian brothers.
Did you know Jesus is the best friend we can ever have?
Recently, I found out how blessed I am with great friends, especially during times of trouble. On August 20, my dog, who would have been 14-years-old this December, became unexpectedly ill. Since it was after hours for my regular veterinarian, I had to rush Taco to an emergency clinic about 30 miles away.
A neighbor, also a wonderful friend, agreed to accompany me that evening. She had already prepared herself for bed but hurriedly donned her clothes and was on my front door step in less than 10 minutes.
Like me, Sonya loves all of God’s creatures. So when I was told my beloved pet had to be euthanized or he would continue to suffer, I was devastated. I burst into tears. So did my friend as we held each other and sobbed.
After sharing my loss on social media, I was amazed at the comments and feedback I received from friends, former students and people whom I have never met. Prayers and encouragement have been offered. At this writing, I have received more than 200 condolences, including phone calls to check on me.
The next day, another dear friend took me to lunch. She handed me a card, one she obviously had to stop and purchase before she met me. She listened as I poured out my heart about the pet I had owned since he was eight weeks old. We cried. We laughed. That’s what friends do.
Another friend has called several times to check on me. He always called Taco, “his little buddy.”
Two days later, another friend called to offer condolences. We spoke for over 30 minutes and he said something I didn’t think I was prepared to do. He encouraged me to adopt another dog. While I had planned to wait, he said, “Carol, you have so much love to give. You poured it out on Taco and he loved you back. He would want you to be happy. Just think, you can sit with that new puppy on your lap and tell her about Taco.” And that’s what I plan to do.
Did you know Jesus is the best friend we can ever have? He will never leave us nor forsake us. Are you that kind of friend?