True Friend

Written By: Ben Andrews

Everything in his life had come to a screeching halt and I mean screeching! The winds weren't blowing and rain falling -
THE WINDS WERE SCREAMING. The rain was coming down so hard that it was like someone had taken an Olympic size pool -picked it up and dumped it on his head. This wasn't the - "Oh they don't like me." or "I've been laid off -what am I going to do." or " The car blew up.' You know the junk that seems to come in waves -sometimes so fast we can hardly keep our heads above water. No this was so huge that the only thing that comes mind is maybe ... a - "hurricane of the heart.

They were High School sweethearts - then they married - had kids - lived life -had problems - experienced defeats and victories. They grew so close that to watch them was to watch a Hollywood love story - Then she was gone. Cancer had come back like a roaring lion stealing her from my friend. His heart was ripped out. Half of himself was literally torn from his flesh. I can't even imagine still being alive with half of me ripped away - I can only tell you as an observer. He had all the rights to lay down and die - I mean that! He had the right to put his head in his pillow and never come out again. If it had been one of the couples I know that really don't like each other and with that I'm being kind - ya know - the couple that feels as if they got a bum deal - well then maybe it wouldn't have been so devastating .Why am I telling you all this? Well bare with me I do have a point.

While all this was happening to my friend my world too was falling apart. Not anywhere as close or as terrible as what he was going through - but nonetheless it was. His wife Patty had been a constant true friend to my wife. She would pray for her even in the middle of her pain and life stealing disease. So when we got the news that our son was missing - off on drugs - lost in the woods - we didn't know who to call. Patty was gone - heaven now celebrated her homecoming and our prayer warrior was on the other side. Out of shear desperation my dear wife said to me “who do we call - Patty is gone?” I said, “call Bruce God hears him.” “We can't call him! Patty just died!” she replied. Something inside told me "go ahead and call it will be OK." so she did... He answered -Mary said "Bruce could you be my Patty? - And the first thing out of his mouth was " Ill be right there." He didn't get out a scale and balance and say... "My hurts are more than your hurts - so I can't." No he laid down his life and said... "I don't care what's going on in my life - my friends are hurting." WOW! - Amazing. 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.' John 15:13

That night - I can still remember as if it were today- We stood together in my daughter's 2nd floor bedroom - held hands and called on all of heaven - sent out ministering angels - asked our Savor -Jesus - to find my boy lost in more ways than you can imagine and began a friendship so deep so true that not even hell itself could rip it apart. I didn't deserve nor did I earn this friend. He just laid down everything and cared.

Jesus is this kind of friend. He had all the rights to walk away. He even asked His Heavenly father. "...fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Matt 26:39 He laid it all down - His Life - His Rights - He did nothing wrong - yet was persecuted beyond imagination - and in the middle of it all... He gave. While on the cross - beaten past human recognition - bloody torn and in monumental pain - a thief on the cross next to Him asked a favor - "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:42-43 He didn't say... "Leave me alone - can't you see I'm dying over here. I've got enough to deal with - besides that you're the reason I'm up here anyway."

What is a true friend? - Someone who gives without wanting anything - someone who lays down their life - someone who lays down their mess and helps you with yours. I know I have a one. I am blessed beyond measure. I have Jesus Christ as my very best friend and friends that have Jesus living in them. Friends that have one foot in this world and a heart mingled in Heaven.

"To The King!"

"To The Kingdom!"