A Little Help From My Friends

Friends-Helping-Friends 4

“What would you do if I sang out of key, would you stand up and walk out on me?”*

What are we looking for in a friend?

Not an acquaintance “Yes I remember you (I don’t) so good to see you”

Not a companion “I remember you, you accompanied us on the trip”

Not a colleague “Oh I remember you, you worked on that committee. So nice to see you again”.

No what we want is an ally, a supporter, a brother or sister in arms, someone who cares about us that will stick beside us all the way no matter what may come.

My wife has those kind of friends. She has lived in the same community for most of her life. She has friends that have been together since childhood. They stay in touch, have lunch together often, celebrate good things together, and pray for one another when times are hard.

I envy her.

My experience was different. My family moved a lot during my growing up years.  This trend continued into my adult years.  I was not good at maintaining relationships and my friends were left behind. I could really identify with the words from this familiar song.

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self-assured

Now I find, I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you, please, please help me?

Some years ago when my mom became ill, I spent an extended time in Nashville my hometown and soon realized that I was no longer close or in touch with anyone I grew up with, relative or friend.

Not a good feeling.

We need friendship and I believe God places this desire in our heart. Life is not meant to be lived alone, the need for friends goes deeper than social reasons or the reasons we might think we need friends for.

Even Jesus had a close circle of friends.

My daughters youth pastor would often say:

“Show me your friends and I will show you your future”

The friends we choose impact our lives and the book of Proverbs has a lot to say about friends. Good ones and bad ones

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
 but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”

“The godly give good advice to their friends”

Proverbs 18:24 Proverbs 12:26

Friends bring wisdom

“One who walks with the wise becomes wise,
    but whoever keeps company with fools only hurts himself”.

Proverbs 13:20

True friends are always there in time of need

“A friend is always loyal,
    and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17

A true friend will tell the truth even when you don’t want to hear it

“Wounds inflicted by the correction of a friend prove he is faithful;
    the abundant kisses of an enemy show his lies”.

Proverbs 27:6

Good friends bring peace and happiness to our lives

“The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense”.

Proverbs 27:9

Good friends challenge us, even when we don’t agree

“As iron sharpens iron,
    so a friend sharpens a friend”

Proverbs 27:17

Friends stick beside you

Friends give good Godly advice

Friends are loyal

Friends are there in good times and bad

Friends rejoice with you

Friends mourn with you

Friends tell you the truth. Even when it hurts

Friends bring joy and peace

I am thankful that over the last 20 years the Lord in His goodness has brought good friends into my life. It began with my first and best friend Jesus Christ.

I met my wife and she became my closest friend.

Through her family my father-in-law and my brother-in law became two of the most faithful and honest friends I have ever known. And they were always willing to speak straight with me

As my wife and I became a part of and involved in the local church we met and formed friendships that have encouraged us, challenged us and helped us to grow spiritually and in community. With these friends we have formed bonds of friendship that remain on into eternity.

And He didn’t just give me local friends. I traveled with Convoy of Hope as a volunteer for a season and met and formed friendships with people all over the U.S.

As I am writing this I think about all of you I have made contact with through Christian Blessings blog.

England, Brazil, India, the Philippines, Australia, Afghanistan, China, Russia, Mexico friends from all over the world.

I am so encouraged by your writing and insight, and that we share a common interest and goal, the advancing of the Good News of Jesus Christ. I am truly grateful for all of you!

And I know you would all still be my friends even if I sang out of key!

friends 5

P.S.

I want to thank you all who have taken time to read and comment on my blog. It means so much to me. I may never meet all of you personally here but what a reunion we will have when we get there!

 

 

About HCliffCraig.com

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
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8 Responses to A Little Help From My Friends

  1. Pingback: Civil Rights: Gannett News Editor – Nicole Gill

  2. Pingback: A Little Help From My Friends | messagefromthefield.wordpress.com

  3. braveheart91 says:

    Thanks for this! I have been feeling alone lately, but this post helped to remind me that I am surrounded by people and I just need to let them back into my life!

    • I had originally intended to write on a different subject. I was listening to the song that this title comes from (I have always enjoyed the Beatles music) and the inspiration for this post came. Proof once again that God is not limited in the ways He can speak to and encourage us. I am glad it was an encouragement to you. And by all means open the door to your friends. They need what you have to offer as much as you need them.
      Thanks for reading!

      • braveheart91 says:

        It is true that He is inspiring in ways you would not believe. I am getting ready to write a post now from a very similar type of inspiration. 🙂

  4. ptl2010 says:

    How true – No man is an island – that was what I also shared with my Home Assistant during our Weeky Bible Study. As a foreigner, she is finding it difficult to trust anyone, let alone find friends. It will mean she will have to take some risk to disappointments and perhaps separation from one she trusted, but this is preferable to building a castle wall around her for protection from disappointments from everybody.

    Thank you for sharing on such a need for friends -we all need friends as the Word says ” Therefore encourage one another, and let each one help to strengthen his friend, as in fact you do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

    On ChristianBlessings, I pray that each person on our team will support and lookout for one another against the enemy as we become friends and encourage each other by reading, commenting and blessing each other in prayer support and love in Christ.

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