Joyful Long-time Friendships
“A friend is always loyal”.
How do people cultivate joyful long-time friendships? It takes hard work does it not? Aristotle stated: “Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit”. It takes a willingness to serve and not always desiring to be served. It takes a soft heart ready to forgive each other when necessary. Sally Clarkson stated: “A lifetime of friendships is only kept through mutual working at the friendships and commitment.
An example of true friendship is illustrated in the Book of Exodus between Moses and God when the LORD would “speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” During the time of Moses, it was a custom to set up the tent known as the “Tent of Meeting”. That particular tent would be far outside the camp, and everyone who would desire to consult with the LORD would go there. As Moses would go inside the Tent of Meeting, a “pillar of cloud would come down and hover at the entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses” as a friend. An example of their mutual friendship was when the LORD stated to Moses: “I will indeed do what you have asked, for you have found favor with Me, and you are My friend”.
How do God's people begin and/or maintain a joyful long-time friendship? Each person must be committed, and they should communicate when possible. Meet to have a cup of coffee, or tea together. Face-to-face communication like God and Moses had, is the best, and because of today's upwardly mobile society oftentimes distance dissolves the bond. Having said that, their connection need not end because of that reason. Pam Brown stated: “A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often--just to save it from drying out completely”.
Friends ought to share common interests and/or activities to develop a joyful long-lasting friendship. For example a mutual love for studying God's Word, or a shared interest in Bible Studies. Oftentimes, there is also a treasured history in a relationship, such as long-time childhood memories. A true friend is a person whom you can call in the middle of the night and they will not only answer the telephone, but they are willing to help you in any way possible. Thomas Aquinas stated: “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship”.
It is a priviledge to have joyful long-time friendships. They are to be treasured and to be thankful for because “Two are better than one, because they have a good (more satisfying) reward for their labor; For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”.
It was an honor for Moses to be called a “friend” by God. In the Book of John, Jesus called His disciples His friends, and by extension all of His followers (NLT). Jesus stated: “You didn't choose Me. I chose you”, and His friendship is an honor and a blessing for all of God's people to cherish, cultivate, and be committed.
Lord God, thank You for the honor of the friendship of Jesus. Help us to always remain loyal to His friendship. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington