I’ve been thinking about friendships lately. Not so much as, “who are my true friends” but what constitutes a true friendship. There is an old saying that you can count your friendships, true friendships, on one hand. So without figuring out what a true friendship is, it is hard for me to figure out how many fingers and or hands I might need. My Dad used to say a true friend was one you could call up at 2 am and say “I need your help come get me” and their response would be ”  I’ll be right there,” without asking another question.

I have a friend of 50 plus years, I’ve never tested him with the 2 am call, but I am convinced he would respond when called. We text every week, he lives a couple of hrs away and when he comes to town we have time together. I hate to admit it but we chased girls together and caught a couple, who were friends, and married them. (I’ll stop there, the rest of the story for another day). Our daughters have the same first name, that may well say something about the closeness of our friendship. I hired him once, he left and eventually bought a similar business to mine yet we remained friends. Over the last few years I have come to realize that our deep belief in Jesus Christ is the bond that ties us together.

A couple of days ago I needed some work done on my car and one of my friends volunteered to fix it for me but couldn’t get to it right away and so my step daughter asked one of her friends for help and he fixed it for me as a favor to my step daughter. Couple of examples of true friendships.

Once in a while I think about some of my friendships and I think that they are one sided friendships, where I am a better friend toward them than they are to me, and of course vice versa. I try hard not to judge about friendships like that, but we are human and that one-sidedness some times creeps in.

I have a prayer partner, who has met with me, once a week for about the last 5 1/2 years. And if he is out of town on our normal meeting day (Wednesday), he calls or arranges a different day to meet. I feel like he is making a greater effort than I am to keep that friendship alive and healthy. Maybe it’s just personalities that are so different, he is rock solid dependable, and I am radical, off the wall, creative and some days not even sure if it’s Wednesday. But I am sure I would handle the 2 am call.

Just so some of my friends wonder why they weren’t mentioned as I am now starting to count my remainder fingers and toes, let it be said you are my friends too and I love you all: Ryan, Ted, Russ, Paul, Brad(2), Gregg, Scott, Lyle, Mike(2), John, Jonathan, Skip, Kirk, Bill, Ron, Phil(2) and Jim.  And to the rest of my friends I love you all too but I just ran out of fingers and toes.

I am reminded of the hymn, What a friend we have in Jesus, words by Joseph Scriven, are here below:

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.

On our Names of Christ poster, the Name “friend” does not appear but it should!!!!!!!  You might like to read the words again, not only do all those words apply to our relationship/friendship, with Jesus Christ but a lot of those words apply to our friendships. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just act like Christ in all our friendships?

But we would need more fingers and toes.