Tangible is defined as: capable of being touched or felt; having real substance
If we are honest, most of us would have experienced the reality of the opening verse. When we found ourselves in trouble, we look around and we see no one, but air. Your friends friends or thought you could at least rely on, seemed to have emigrated from the planet, just when you needed them the most.
I have learnt that adversity often brings us face-to face with the need to question our circle of influence, those around us. It will cause us to associate with a different people, from all works of life, people that we might never have met or given the time of the day. This is always a good thing. It will also move us to severe ties with those who we have unwise associations with - it could be a friend, an employer, an employee or partner. Inevitably there will be times when adversity will force us to really look at the peope we relate to within our world and to look within to see if we make frienship easy. Are we a friendly people?
However, in the Bible, through the relationship between David and Jonathan, we see a good model of true friendship.
When we read 1 Samuel 20, we see that Jonathan was moved to do tremendous things for his friend David. This was because of the love and loyalty towards him. Jonathan did the following:
- He warned David of possible danger from his father Saul. Read 1 Samuel 19:1-3 for completion
- He spoke well of David, even to those who thought David was an enemy. Read 1 Samuel 19:4 for completion
- He went the extra mile to do what David needed him to do. He saw the situation David was in and asked what he could do to help him. He did not have to wait for David to beg or plead. Willingly he requested and did what David asked Him. Read 1 Samuel 20:4-20 for completion
- He risked his very life by defending David to his father. I mean Saul nearly nailed him to the wall with a spear! Now that is bravery for a friend. Read 1 Samuel 20:32 - 33
- He helped David to escape Death by his father Saul. Read 1 Samuel 20: 35 - 41
Now after reading the above, I thought to myself, I really must brush up on some of my friendship skills! Yikes!! It makes me ask questions such as - how many of us will put our lives in danger to help a friend?
Taking into consideration the current economic climate of this world, some of our friends might be going through a rough patch, finding it a difficult to keep their heads above water, day after day, so I ask:
- How many of us will forgo that holiday to pay a friend's mortgage, bills or save them from going completely under?
- How many of us will take a friend and their family to the shops and buy thier montly grocery?
- How many of us will take our eyes off ourselves for a minute, see out and take the time to ask a friend how they are doing; without having to wait for that friend to come and ask or beg for help; knowing fully well that they need it.
- How many of us like Jonathan, is willing to lay down his/her life for a friend, if we have to? Selah...
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes what should be the ingridients of true friendship; to Christians and non- Christians alike. Some of what Paul advices for us to have is: politeness, selflessness, positive, free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness, roted in truth. It is also hopeful, supported, sees the best in people and endures till the end. Please read 1 Corinthians 13 for completeness.
Friendship starts within us, we must first learn to be a friendly person as we are taught in Proverbs 18:24, which reads "A man who has friends must himself be friendly...".
Yes, it might be a bit difficult with all the things we have to juggle on a daily basis, but we must make time to make friends and nurture friendship. It does not have to cost much either. Thank God for technology, we can send emails, chat and call for free on Skye and much more. I encourage us all to do what we can to establish and keep the friendship connection flowing. Remeber, God created us to be Relational beings.
My hope is that especially in the times we are living in, that the essence and example from Jonathan and David's friendship will be eminent in our lives. I encourage us to submit to the Holy Spirit and He will help bring to attention areas within us that may require a little work to help us build stringer and effective relationships. I sure know I need some help, how about you?
If you don't have a lot of close friends, don't be too hard on yourself. Remember, true friendships are a rare treasures. Besides, they take time to establish, build up and it requires a lot of wisdom, patience and commitment. So start with developing or nuturing one meaningful frienship, taking it one day at a time and go from there.
Establishing healthy relationships and friends is a process, which when we rely on God to help us, makes us become more like Jesus Christ.
Have a wonderful weekend filled with love, laughter and the richness only true friendship can bring.
Much Love, Remi
***pictures by google***