Reading: “Why God Made Friends”
God made friends with a heartful of love,
Then God looked down from heaven above,
And saw that we all needed a helping hand,
Someone to share with, who’ll understand.
God made special people to see us through
The glad times and the sad times, too.
A person on whom we can always depend,
Someone we can call a friend.
God made friends so we’ll carry a part
Of God’s perfect love in all our hearts.
Growing up, I really didn’t have any close friends. In fact, my kindergarten teacher noted on my report card under the “plays well with others” line that I was by myself mostly during play time. By the end of my high school days, I had developed a close friendship with a classmate, and we ended up going to the same college and that friendship continues today.
Since then, I’ve had several good friendships and am somewhat amazed that even at my age, I continue to develop these close relationships. Why? I think it’s because friendship is a blessing from God.
If you look through the Bible, particularly in Proverbs, you see that friends do not gossip, they are loving and loyal, they stick by you, and are honest. Friends do not reject you and challenge you.
How has your life been enriched by the relationships you’ve developed with friends? I challenge you to tell your friends what they mean to you. In the pop song by Baz Luhrmann from a late 90s graduation speech, he says, “Bridge the gap between distance and lifestyles of your friends. The older you get the more you need people who knew you when you were young.”
When I look at those who I consider close friends in my life, I see a common thread—Christ. Our friendship is rooted in Christian love. We build each other up. And there is mutual love that strengthens the bond of friendship. I once read this: “Friendship is the idea of loving as well as being loved.” I think that sums up what God intended friendship to be.
This devotional was inspired by some notes I found from something I led years ago. In those notes, I found this poem that I had written. I’m not sure when I wrote this, but its sentiment remains pertinent.
God has blessed me time and time again
With the gift of a loving and caring friend
One who challenges me and brings out my best
Especially when I’m being put to the test.
One who stands by my side and is there when time are tough
Putting things into perspective and showing it isn’t that rough
One who makes me laugh when we share times together
And who when I need help would never say never
One to share the many details of my earthly life
Times of pleasure, times of peace, times of struggle and strife
One who looks out for me and shows me the right way
One with whom I’d share time with any hour of the day
A friend is someone with whom I can be myself
Someone who doesn’t matter if I have very little wealth
A friend is a person who is faithful and in whom I’d place my trust
Honesty is a characteristic that in a friend is a must
Friends build you up and are teachers in their own right
I like friends who show or tell me they think I am special in their sight
Friends can strengthen your faith in the Lord, I have seen
And help you in your walk with God, giving you someone on whom to lean
When others are persecuting you for your beliefs
They can give you some much needed spiritual relief
Friends are a blessing from God, and I am thankful for
All the people who I consider a friend—but there is more
Because all of the friends I’ve had one has done more for me
He is the one who died for my sins by being killed on a tree
It was the love of our Creator, to us God did send
Jesus Christ, the ultimate gift of a loving friend.