There is a difference between a friend and a true friend. Some times we call people friends, but in reality they are just people we are friendly to. But then there are friends who you can trust. These people are ready, willing, and do go to the mat for you. These people are willing to suffer on your behalf. They are willing to take hits they don’t have to take. Those are the people that deserve the title friend.
I am blessed to have a number of friends… only one of which I will actually name. That person is my best friend. Her name is Pam. She is the love of my life. I have been married to her since November 10, 1984. There is not another person on the face of the earth I love more than her. She has stood by me through thick and thin. She is godly. She is merciful. She is gracious. She is trustworthy. She is a blessing from God. I only hope and pray that I can be as much of an encourager to her for the rest of our days as she has been for me.
There are three friends I have who are also in the ministry. They are my pastors. These are men who are full of wisdom, Biblical insight, and passion for God. One of them I have known since 1978 and I admire all of them for their ability to lead God’s people that is far beyond my ability. I am supremely blessed to count these three men my friends.
Then there are people I’ve met in the churches I’ve served. My appreciation and admiration for them is greater than they will ever know. In total their number is seven after 20 years in ministry. In difficult times, they have been encouragers. They have always been honest, given me wise counsel, and been a help when I was struggling. They suffered as a result of identifying with me. They also carry bruises and scars by standing for the Gospel and doing what is right. Their crown will be filled with jewels by our Lord when they see Him face to face. Time, circumstances, and geography have seperated me from several of them, but they are as close to me as a thought and a smile.
A person without friends is poor no matter how much he has in the world’s eyes. A person with friends… true friends… is wealthy beyond human description.
To Pam and all the friends I thought about while writing this blog… bless you. I pray that God will shower you with his peace, love, and mercy. My you know Him in ever greater fullness every day.
And now for those reading this. Invest yourself in someone. Be a friend. Thank God for your friends.