You've Got a Friend
A song by James Taylor called “You’ve Got a Friend” has been on my heart this week. Life can be really hard. Good friends are a big part of making it to the finish line successfully. Taylor’s lyrics resonated with me after returning from seeing friends in California.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it? Real friends are a treasure. We spend so much time acquiring stuff. We spend so much time acquiring titles and power. We often spend far too little developing real friends. When the world comes crashing in what you really need is a not a Ferrari. You need a friend.
True friends fill your bucket with affirmation and love. True friends tell you the truth about yourself in a way that you can stand to hear it.
This past weekend Joni and I were incredibly blessed to spend the weekend with friends like that. We go back a long way with Ed and Judy Underwood. Ed is now a pastor at Church of the Open Door in Glendora, California. If you live in that area and don’t have a church home please check them out.
Ed has written a wonderful book called The Trail.
It is an allegory about finding God's will based solidly on Biblical principles and told through an engaging story. If you are anything like me you have wrestled with how to find and/or remain in God's will for your life. The Trail cleared up a lot of the misconceptions I had held on this vital topic.
I used to sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” in my little hometown church. Jesus is indeed a friend that will never desert me. Jesus also knew that we needed earthly friends to help navigate this often difficult journey. This journey needs to be live in community.
I love the New Testament story of the man who was paralyzed and his friends were trying to get him in front of Jesus. They cared. When they couldn’t get in the door they cut a hole in the roof and lowered him down to Jesus. The Lord was moved by the man’s faith (and the faith of his friends) and He had mercy on him. What strikes me is how Jesus addressed the man.
He said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven you." (Luke 5, NASB)
Jesus still calls men friend when they simply humble themselves in faith. James Taylor summarizes the importance of friends on earth and in Higher Places.
Hey, ain’t it good to know that you've got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you.
Well they'll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.
Satan would like nothing more than to use the hurts and difficult people in life to take our very soul. Don’t you let them. Lean on Jesus. Pray for friends. Most importantly, be a friend. You will likely be disappointed and even hurt along the way. But finding that small number of real friends is worth it. All friends are a blessing. Real friends are a treasure. I will wrap this up with a quote from one of my sentimental favorites, the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.
This weekend Joni and I felt like we were very successful indeed. And blessed beyond measure.