A friend in need is a friend in deed. In this modern era there is no dearth of friends. When you have everything, there will be many around you. But good friends remain with us throughout our life. They will accompany you in whatever situations you are. Such friends are precious indeed, much more valued than a gem.
It is up to each one of us to value and treasure those friends and people who spent their quality time with us in different situations of our life. Sincere friends speak the truth in love, even when it hurts. “Open rebuke is better than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy”. (Proverbs 27: 5-6).
Friendship is marked by sacrifice. “Greater love has no meaning than that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. No longer do I call you servants, for, the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:13-15).
Real friends are those who touch our hearts and take us to those heights where no one else could take us without any selfish motives and interest. They will be thrilled and happy to see you growing and achieve greater glory in life, They refreshes us with good thoughts, nourishes us with choicest blessings, correct us when we are wrong, prunes us from time to time according to our need, understand and accept us with our own weakness and strength and above all, never let us down and turn their faces at times of adversities and uncertainties of our life.
Faithful friends are hard to find. Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but a faithful man who can find? (Proverbs 20:-6). Such a true and faithful friend will remain with us at all times as a token of love, energize you with consoling words and presence and then serves you with a spoon of patience and tolerance. Loyal friends love through difficult times. A friend always remains loyal. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born to adversity”. (Proverbs 17:17). Faithful friends are a rare treasure. You cannot find them in everyone. There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Story of a True friend
I just cannot forget one such incident which touched my heart so much. It was a time when I was preparing hard for my exams as it was announced unexpectedly, and I have a long way to complete my portions. On one side fast approaching exams and on the other completion of projects, reports etc.
It was at that time one of my associate expired due to certain sicknesses and it was beyond my capacity to stomach. He was much closer to me, like my own father although I used to call him uncle. I just couldn’t stop my tears whenever I thought about him, whenever I opened my books for reading; it was his face that I could see through. I had lost my concentration and unable to perform my duties.
On such a day one of my friends called me and was enquiring about my studies as he used to give me some tips to study better. While talking to me he realized that I was so much affected with this incident and unable to get along with my studies. From then on everyday he used to call me up in order to bring me out of that state. He made it sure, that gradually I was able to come out of that situation as I need to concentrate on my studies again. I really believe, that helped me a lot to reroute my attention and then he could implant within me positive energy and thoughts. He continued to do that until he got convinced that I was able to deal with myself without his help.
Of late, before and after every exam he made sure to make a call to assert his prayers and after the exam to make sure that I was confident to do it without any annoyance. He came out of his way to help me without being asked. Yes, I thank God for such a caring, loving and sensitive friend. Godly friends give good advice. As it is written “A righteous man turns away from evil, but the way of the wicked leads them astray”. (Proverbs 12:26).
Characteristics of a True Friend
A good friend is someone who sense things even without being told, who comes to our help without being asked, and the one who loves us unconditionally with a positive regard. A friend is not a bundle of complaints and pointing out fingers always, but bundles and bundles of love mixed to make us whole again. A friend is someone who liberates you and set you free to be what you are.
I remember once one of my friends saying, “you will never know the worth of a friend until you lose one”. That was true as he had gone far out of my sight. Good friends are gifts from God. They are like stars, we cannot see them but they do come into view, as when we really look for them or aspire for them. They work as a life saving drug to keep us always lively, energetic and enthusiastic in whatever we do. We just can’t measure the depth, width, length and height of their selfless, sacrificing love and goodness for us in every moment of our life. True friends strengthen and help each other.
It is said, “two people are better off than one, for they can help each other and succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out to help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can help with each other’s warmth. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken”. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Thus, be grateful and thankful and cherish the sweetest memories of your friends at all times. Let us accord our warm regards to all our friends who has been helping and guiding us and then moulding us as what we are today. May our heavenly Father keep all of them as the ‘apple of His eye’ and place them always in the hollow of His hands. Let us learn to be a rewarding friend to our friends and all those who come to us in many ways. Our friends are our ‘eye openers’ in many ways. They are the mirrors through which we see ourselves better and clearer.
When you are in trouble and agony a counsel from a friend is always pleasing. It serves as an ounce of honey mixed with some medicine. It is ever soothing and comforting. Proverbs 27:9 says the heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. When the mirror of life gets dirty with the fog of reality, our friends will be with us, to wipe it with the never-ending faith in order to see the clear reflection of our dreams. They comfort us and lead us in the path of peace and joy. Have you ever needed a shoulder to cry on? Have you ever lent yours to someone to lean on, cry or offered comforts until they got consoled or comforted?
The Greatest Friend Jesus Christ
And no one can deny the greatest friend JESUS. He is the one who accompanies us intermittently. He has no complaints about us, but takes us along with Him and enthuses with amounting energy to go ahead without fear. He can never let us down.
Through Isaiah 43:1-2 He says that, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name and you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you”. Obedience to God’s words qualifies you as a friend of Jesus. And so we have a great and reliable friend in JESUS too.
Let us wholeheartedly embrace Him and surrender ourselves in each and every situations of our life as he also a good physician and a psychiatrist who knows each one of us through and through. He will touch and heal our aching souls with a soothing balm of His Love. If our friends accompany us and love us with all their fragility, how much more Jesus can shower His love and care on us as He has called us His friends? Because Jesus always wants His children to be at His side, to walk the path which He has trodden, to learn the lessons of life which He has revealed through parables and revelations to reveal the mystery of the kingdom of God and to be one with Him just as He is one with His heavenly Father. He never want us to go astray from Him and entangled due to the cares of this world without having FRIEND TO LEAN ON.