True Friends

We have a sign in our home office under a photo collection that reads “A good friend will come and bail you out of jail…But a true friend will be sitting next to you saying ‘Damn that was fun!’” The photo collection that it sits under is of friends that we have traveled with and watching each others kids grow up; they are our life long friends that we have known for 15 years but we live 2800 miles apart. We have always been able to pick up the phone and call one another just to hear a friendly voice when we get down, to share troubles with a sympathetic listener or to celebrate exciting news. They are True Friends. To have such a blessing is unusual – I think, and I am grateful for their friendship. Who stands by you when you need it? For us married men, it’s usually our wives at the top of that list (if you’re smart anyway). Lisa and I will be celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary this week and she has stood by me every day(9855+ days). We joke about what a great team we are when it comes to getting things done around the house or dealing with the kids but the real teamwork we share is working to be True Friends for each other. No matter what, we support and love each other every day, not because we have to but because we want to. I have had a number of professional opportunities come my way throughout the past 27 years, and she has supported every one of them. She’s changed states twice, we’ve lived in four apartments and five houses over the years and she continues to support me today as my number one cheerleader and encourager. While it’s highly unlikely, I know that if I found myself in jail, she would be sitting right next to me and we’d be laughing at the fun we had. To my True Friend, Happy Anniversary!

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…”

We have all heard people say or we have said ourselves “God has a plan for you”. Some believe that the circumstances in their lives are merely chance happenings and that God doesn’t get into those details of their life or worse yet, that there isn’t a God doing anything. God does have a plan but as I’ve said before, it’s on His timeline not ours. A day or a year in God’s eye is not the same as an earthly one. Many of you will agree that “this life” is complicated and filled with all kinds of problems and trials. Can this really be part of God’s plan? It sure can be! God will only give us what we can handle and He wants us to grow in our faith and in our lives. We cannot grow if we are not challenged. The baby who first learns to walk is then challenged by climbing stairs, and again climbing down them before walking down. These are all challenges (ups and downs) and they exist in our lives but on a different scale. God wants us to grow! Like parents who help their baby take those first steps, He is there with us holding our hands for balance. As things get harder and the waters of our lives turn into rivers, He will be there so you are not swept away. God’s grace and love are with you everyday, sometimes you need to simply stop and realize it. Like the friend sitting with you laughing, God is always there – a True Friend. Thank Him for His care and presence in your life.

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