Friendship, A Two Way Street

Saturday, March 6, 2004

John 15:13-14 – No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) His own life for his friends. You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. (AMP)

Some years ago while visiting in a hospital, I regularly passed a patient who always had friends at her bedside. As the weeks went by, one friend appeared to remain longer. One day I spoke to the patient, but, due to her illness, her speech had been greatly impaired — so much so that I could not understand even one word when she replied. Again I spoke to her, but her answer was garbled. Because I did not want to appear insensitive to the situation, I was going to smile and move on. Instead, wanting an interpretation, I looked at her friend, who said, "My friend is saying, 'He is my all sufficiency.'" How glad I am today that I took this course of action, because her words, together with her witness, have remained with me.

When we are young and healthy, our personalities can be happy and joyful; it is a pleasure to be in the company of such uplifting people. But with age and physical deterioration, it is easy to allow these difficulties to change our personality. This lady had found the secret of keeping her personality radiant and untouched by life's difficulties: continuing to look to Jesus, her Great Friend. Her friends continued to visit her, gaining, perhaps, like myself, strength from her courage and example. A few weeks after my encounter with this patient, I noticed that her bed was occupied by another patient. Doubtless she had passed into the presence of her Great Friend, who had proved to be her "all sufficiency" during every season of her life.

Prayer: Our gracious heavenly Father, we do not know the circumstances of our future, and we do not know the tests which we many encounter along the way, but we thank You because You have proved to be the "All Sufficiency" in one life, and You will be also in ours. We come into Your presence through the name of Your Son, Christ Jesus. Amen.

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Vena Poole

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