Day 17: Remember, a true friend is at times closer than a brother - 23 November 2018

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

The soldiers returned to the camp. The conflict in the battle zone was intense. A lot of soldiers were seriously injured. "Lieutenant," asked one of the troops. "I request permission to return to the battle zone. My friend is not here. I think he is injured." The lieutenant looked shocked. Everyone knew that if he grants this request, the troop may himself be killed. He refused, arguing that the man’s friend is most probably already dead anyway.

In the heat of the moment, the soldier ignored the lieutenant's command and ran back to the battle zone. Moments later, he returned carrying his friend's dead body in his arms. In the process he got injured.

The Lieutenant was furious. "I told you your friend is dead. Now you are also seriously injured!" When he saw how weak the man was, he asked with compassion, "Was it worth risking your life to bring out your friend's body?" The dying man smiled, "Definitely, Lieutenant! When I came to my friend, he was still alive. Then he said to me, “I knew you would come.”

God gave us the gift of friendship - with people, but also with Himself. Knowing that there is someone to carry us in difficult times surely makes the load we carry lighter. In John 15:13, Jesus says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” In Ecclesiastes 4: 9 we read: “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” And in Proverbs 18:24, it is written, "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

What kind of friend are you? Someone people can trust and rely on? Or are you friendly only with people that can add to your life? And what does your friendship with God look like today? Do you realize that in essence He created us to stand in a friendship with Him?

My hope is that we become the type of friend that we desire to have. Also that we will start to make an effort to build not only a relationship but also a true friendship with God! He gave His Son to die for us so that we can be reconcile with Him. Let’s never take this for granted. God bless.

Father God, thank you for creating me to have a friendship with you. Help me to understand what a friendship with You entails and lead me to support and love others as you intended. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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