Back to the Proverbial quest!
“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”(Proverbs 17:17)
Time to get back on the trail with the Proverbs series, this time with an emphasis on this verse which seems so clearly to point to our “Elder Brother” and friend of sinners, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Most of us know what it’s like to have a friend – that really special person in our life who we like to be around all the time. They seem like a Godsend. In fact they are! We never lose track of one another, and even if it’s been awhile between visits (as in years or even decades), when we’re back together, it seems that nothing has changed and as if no time has actually elapsed at all.
Friends can also be family members, such as cousins or even aunts or uncles. My closest friends were my sister-in-law and an aunt, both of whom are now departed from this life. Both these women were absolutely the most fun to be around, and they really helped me always unlock a sense of who I am. They had that sort of impact unlike any other in my life.
I can testify that the physical absence of such beloved friends hurts like nothing else. These are people who can never be replaced, and these dear souls I think will be the first I look for Above when I cross over into the next life. You realize how intimately involved their Earth Mission was with your own.
I’d have to say that they fit the friend criteria found in this verse – that of expressing love at all times. It was sincere, non judgmental, and as close to unconditional as it is humanly possible to achieve, and it never seemed like they had to work at it – it was part of who they were. I count myself blessed to have had people like this in my life.
Most of us also know what it’s like to have a brother. When we’re kids these are the guys who’ve got your back, especially when you’re the kid sister. My brothers were both nearly grown men when I was born, so they were impressive, exemplary, and significant in a very different way than when your brother is someone close to your age. I looked up to them and still do. In many respects I wish they had been closer to my own age, because we didn’t really “grow up” together, yet we’re still very close, now as older adults.
It occurs to me as I write this that I’ve never really expressed to either of them how much they mean to me. I think it’s about time I do that, since life is moving so quickly on, they both suffer from advancing Alzheimer’s, and we’re all moving closer to our time of departure from this world.
“Yes, Jesus loves me…” Sometimes it becomes clear that He’s been standing there all along, right in front of you, as someone near and dear, and has been there for a very long time. He says, “I’m here for you; I’ve got your back.”
Could it be that this is who we are meant to be to others whom God sends into our lives?