Friday, April 06, 2007

"I'll Be Here When You Land!"

“I’ll Be Here When You Land!”

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17 – New American Standard Bible).

One of my friends was at my house one time, and we were playing in the woods. There was a tall poplar tree that we always talked of climbing, but had not done it up to that point. It was huge, especially in the eyes of nine year old kids. I decided to climb it. My friend, Gary, told me not to. I called him a chicken and started to climb. He told me he didn’t care what I called him; he was not going to climb that tree. I was about two-thirds of the way up the tree when I yelled, “C’mon you ‘fraidy cat!” He yelled back, “I’ll be here when you land!” Guess what happened? You’re right; I fell out of that tree and landed at Gary’s feet with a thud. Several branches slowed my descent, and I was not seriously injured. What struck me most was not that I wasn’t hurt, or that I fell, but as I got hold of Gary’s extended hand, he said, “Hey man, are you okay?” I didn’t get the standard “I told you so!”, or a horse laugh, but a hand up and a concerned word.

There is so much wisdom in the Proverbs. In the verse above, we find an appropriate and Godly description of a friend and a brother. A friend is not a friend just because they do everything you do. A real friend will warn you of the danger. A real friend will, however, still be your friend when you do something stupid. They will not condone foolish behavior, but they will still love you. A real friend is someone you can call on when you have done something unwise. They may not have an answer or solution, but they will have love.

A true friend will love you in spite of the adversity in your life. The true friend will tell you, honestly, when you bring adversity on yourself. True friends feel no need to say “I told you so”. That same friend, though, will be there “when you land” speaking words of encouragement and concern.

We have a great friend in Christ. According to Proverbs 18:24, there is one that sticks closer than a brother. That friend is God. If a human friend can be so good for us, how much better is God who already knows our failings, faults, and weaknesses? The Holy Spirit is always trying to warn us when we are about to act foolish, and always waiting when we hit bottom. As the old song says, “What a friend we have in Jesus!”

Think of the folks you call your friends…what kind of friend are you to them? Do you love them at all times? Are you there in adversity? Have you told them of the greatest friend they can have?

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