Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Christ, Our Friend

A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

As an author, I was recently asked to join other authors and take part in a book signing during a ladies one day speaking conference. With great delight and joy I accepted and attended. I was not the speaker that day, but the woman who was had traveled with her book and long-time friend. The event was attended by over 500 women eager to hear how they could live their lives as a blessing to others in their sphere of influence. There was great laughter and joy, and books were being sold by all. However, it was not the pulse of retreat gaiety and books being signed and sold that caught my attention. What caught my attention on this day was the quite strength and loyalty of the speaker's friend and travel companion. Faithfully the speaker's friend removed herself from the spotlight to promote and encourage the success of her friend, the author and speaker. I could only imagine how many times this friend had heard the same speech and jokes. I am sure this friend could have anticipated and quoted her friend's next statement, yet she sat laughing and smiling as if it were her first time encountering the message delivered on that day. She manned the book table, answered questions about her friend, and listened as others doted on how wonderful her friend, the speaker was. In all of this, she served faithful and fresh. No spotlight necessary for this companion. Her joy came in serving and supporting. I thought; "Sign me up, I want one of those." It was then that I realized that I too have a friend, a loyal supporting companion, like the speaker. My friend continually listens to my same complaints, my daily, often repetitive pleas, and answers my plethora of challenging and often daunting questions. My friend wipes away my tears and gives me daily encouragement through life-giving and life-sustaining words of joy and comfort. He even sticks closer than a family member or sibling. My friend is so loyal that he has even engraved my name into the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). My friend has promised me an eternal home where He Himself has gone and constructed my eternal abode. I have never been disappointed by placing my hope in Him (Isaiah 49:23 emphasis mine). His name? Jesus. Jesus, the name above all other names. A friend who sticks closer than a brother and is available 24/7. A friend who took death so that I could live eternally. Today, my friend is asking to be your friend. Will you receive Him? 

Dear, Jesus, I want a friend like you. I invite you into my life. Forgive me of my sins and create in me a new heart. I accept your friendship. Jesus, I pray in your name, Amen.

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