Friendships in life are so important to our well-being and to our having a positive outlook on life. Six years ago, my best friend in Virginia passed away after a long illness. Heidi was the one whom I could talk to about anything and everything, including my faith. She and I both got into the habit of eating lunch together once a month, going to each other’s houses to visit and just chatting on the phone regularly. We met at the school where we both worked and since she helped me acclimate to a new school and new requirements, I looked to her for assistance a lot that first year, forming a friendship that seemed to be unlikely. You see, I’m not wealthy. Heidi was. I’m a biological child of the parents who raised me. Heidi was adopted from Germany as a child. We got to be really close when Heidi’s marriage dissolved due to her husband’s infidelity. I became the one she leaned on as she gradually came to accept that the philanderer was never coming home again and that she could survive without him. When she met Bob, her future spouse, she was so in love that it radiated from her entire being and I was delighted for her. I was her matron of honor and we celebrated this new chapter in her life together. But less than ten years later, Heidi was in terrible health. I’m so thankful that she had Bob to be by her side as she faced one devastating health crisis after another. I went to the hospital weekly to be with her, reading to her, chatting and laughing at fond memories. Friendship is important, so when Heidi died, a part of my heart died, too. She passed away only a few months before my father, so those two losses in the same year almost did me in. But God did not leave me. He never does. He made sure that I had others checking on me, calling me and lifting me up in prayer. God’s friendship is eternal and we never have to worry about death separating us from Him as long as we know Him as our Savior.
My mom used to say to be careful who your friends are because they will determine how others see you. So, I’m careful now to say that Jesus is my best friend, one who never leaves me and who listens to all I have to say, giving me wise counsel and loving me through difficult times. I have other earthly friends now, but no one as close as Heidi was. I will probably always miss her on this side of Heaven, but I hope to see her when I get there.
Friendships don’t always last. Sometimes time and distance change things, but they are important so as the Bible says, we need to chose reliable friends. And, more importantly, we need to be a reliable friend to others.
Have a blessed day, my online friends, and may each of you form lasting friendships that make a difference in your lives and show the world a model of friendship with Jesus.