Greater love hath no man than this, that a may lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 KJV
In case you haven’t heard, parts of our state were devastated by the massive hurricane Florence. She was the biggest storm to make landfall in North Carolina in many years. Her landfall caused more devastation that most generations alive today have ever seen. Forty-five 45 people lost their lives as a result of the storm. It will take thousands of hours of clean up to restore any kind of resemblance to the beauty of the state before the storm.
A few days before the storm was to arrive on our coast, while driving home, I was amazed by the number of trucks I saw heading straight into the storm. Power trucks, tree trucks, trucks with bulldozers, trucks from many different states – all kinds of trucks from all over the USA. It was truly a humbling sight.
This really got me to thinking about friends, my friends, being a friend, people who have many friends and people who have a few friends. What is a friend and how will you recognize them in the sea of people that you meet? How will you know if they are fair weather friends or the type of friends described in John 15?
Two examples from the Bible come to mind – Delilah and Jonathan. Delilah was definitely a fair-weather friend. As long as Samson served her purpose, she was good to him and showed love to him, but she was easily swayed by the Philistines for the right price. They convinced her to find out Samson’s strength. Through her seductive powers and by using his feelings against him, she was able to find out that if Samson cut his hair he would lose his strength. Delilah betrayed Samson right when he needed her most – she left him in the middle of the storm to cope on his own.
Jonathan on the other had was willing to lay down his life for his friend David. Jonathan, the son of Saul, was a true friend to David. David was in line to succeed Saul on the throne and through a series of events Saul sought to kill him so he would not be able to take the throne. Jonathan, however, kept David safe and helped him to escape certain death even in defiance of his father, whom Jonathan knew was in the wrong. Jonathan surely was an example of John 15.
Fair-weather friends come and go in your life as it suits their needs, while a true friend stays by your side though the seasons of your life. Most of us only have a few true friends and we should cherish those and celebrate the love we share.
Dear Lord, Help us the choose our friends wisely and be able to discern between true friends and fair-weather friends. Mostly, help us to realize that You are the truest friend we will ever have. You laid down your life to save ours. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.