A Friend Indeed

A friend in need is a friend indeed. This proverb I remember often posted in our classrooms during my elementary and high school days. As I grow older, I came to realise more and more the truth in this simple sentence.

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Friends come and go. We meet people and make friends with them in different opportunities at different places and times in our lives. Friends bond together for different reasons – common interests, similar personalities, oneness of purpose and goal. But friends that accompany us in the darkest of times give us the greatest comfort. It comes in the form of kind words or a tight hug, a shoulder to cry on or a hand to grasp.

For the past few months as I went through my mom’s sickness and passing, then my dad’s illness and passing, God sent me many companions along the way. I cannot imagine how my sister and I would have gone through what we went through without these fellow travellers in our journey. I realise that the most precious gift they offered us is their time… time to listen to our prayer requests, time to utter a kind word, time to visit my parents and pray with them, time to just be present when we needed them most.

More than time, I know that love is their motivation. Love of God, love from God, love for neighbour and their obedience to the 2 great commandments of our Lord.  It is love that compels friends to open their ears to listen.. listen to the outpouring of griefs and concerns consistently without faltering. It is love that opens their eyes to see the deep need for encouragement and companionship in the journey. In the Chinese culture, bereaved people avoid going to visit friends’ homes because it is believed that it might bring bad luck to the household they visit. A friend got great comfort when a family friend told his mom: You can come to my home wearing your blackest attire anytime.

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Indeed, no journey is too hard to bear as long as I know I am not alone. No man is an island. When God created Adam, He said it is not good for man to be alone. He did not say it is not good for man to be lonely. Adam was alone but not necessarily lonely. God created Eve so that Adam had a partner to help him in the tasks that God wanted him to do. Life on earth is not meant to be lived alone. We need people around us to walk with us in our challenges. More than people, we need God to see us through. Friends come and go but God is always near us. His Holy Spirit is our guide and counsellor along the way. He is just a prayer away. When I feel sad and burdened, I often sing:

‘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!

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.

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.’

Dear friend, take Jesus as your friend. He is calling to you to be your friend indeed.

Believe that He died on the cross for your sins to reconcile you to God. Accept Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. And let Him be your friend indeed.  Find out more by reading the Bible.

 

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