You’ve Got A Friend In Me

In the words of Michael W. Smith, “Friends are friends forever, if the Lord’s the Lord of them.” (You’re welcome for that earworm. Go ahead, download it and enjoy it. You know you want to.)

Obviously, outside the Lord, my wife (aka, PR31) is my best friend on this planet.  And yet the Lord has blessed me with some other great friends.  Some of those friendships are only for a certain season of life, and then they shift over into a more casual acquaintance type friendship.  But others are for a lifetime.

I’ve discovered that the bonds of deep friendship are forged in the fires of shared adventure and adversity.  I want to share about one such friend in this post…

We have traveled to other states and other countries together.  We have ridden in cars and vans and buses together. We have flown thousands of miles together.

We have spent time in private conversation and stood on platforms in front of hundreds together.

We have laughed together. We have vented. We have cried together. (Granted, I cried more than he did because I’m a crier and he’s not.). We have talked about our joys. We have talked about our frustrations and struggles.

We have made some extremely difficult decisions together.  And we have struggled over the simplest choices of what to eat.

We have spent weeks together at a time. We have spent moments together.  We have shared early mornings and late nights.

We have “snuck out” of the housing compound with a missionary in Central America to get my friend some chicken strips and French fries so that he didn’t have to survive on skittles and tootsie rolls.  And we have “ridden our favorite ride” at Six Flags (Johnny Rockett’s restaurant) for more than six hours when it was just too hot to chase teenagers around the amusement park.

We even remained friends when I accidentally leaked his secret dating and probable engagement to the young lady who is now his wife during a late night snack with twenty other people.

What this is all adds up to is a deep bond of friendship which has been forged in the fires of shared adventure and adversity.  Proverbs 17:17 tells us, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.

That’s who he’s been to me… always loyal… a brother.  I wouldn’t be half the man I am today without his friendship in my life.  This friendship is for a lifetime.

And I am challenged today to be that kind of friend, not only to him, but to others also.  So let me challenge you… If you have a friend like mine, let them know today how much you love and appreciate them.  And why not join me in the quest to be that kind of friend to someone else?  Your friendship could be exactly what that person needs!

A Place Called Nowhere

Scholarship

We have some friends who give at least one scholarship each year to a teenager who wants to go on a missions trip but is financially challenged. Their story about how the scholarship came about is theirs to tell, or at best saves for another time.

Several years ago, I found out about the scholarship and knew of a student going on a trip I was leading who needed some assistance. I obtained the application and gave it to the student who subsequently filled it out and sent it to our friends. The student ended up receiving the scholarship and going on the missions trip with us.

Nowhere

I know, cool story.  But what our friend said to me when I thanked them for helping this student out struck me so profoundly that I am often reminded of it. She wrote that they were happy to be able to help and then added these words (paraphrased)…

People like to thank God for blessings that seem to come out of nowhere… and I’m so glad I live in a place called “Nowhere!”

I read those words and was floored. For what seemed like the first time in my life, it hit me that blessings don’t come from nowhere. God uses average, everyday, ordinary people like you and me to share His blessings with others.

That scholarship… a check in the mail… someone in the drive-thru ahead of you buying your coffee… Those blessings didn’t come from nowhere. They came from a real God… utilizing a real person to impact your life positively at a moment when you least expected it.

Who Will It Be?

Now flip it.  Just think… you and I live in a place called “Nowhere.”  Each day we have the potential to transform someone else’s day… and perhaps their entire life… by blessing them.

And it doesn’t have to be just with money. Pay a compliment.  Pay attention.  Pay respect.

Send a note. Send flowers. Send a text.

Someone within your reach tomorrow will also be within your capacity to bless.  They may think their blessing came from nowhere… and you and I will both know that you are a resident there!  “No one can help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” (Author Unknown)

So, who will it be? Who will you choose to bless “out of Nowhere” tomorrow?

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