What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer! Oh yes, what a friend we have in Jesus. (It’s more than a song!)
The word friend can and has been defined as a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. When we think of such a person, we consider them our companion, our confidante, an ally…a sidekick. He or she is someone who we can hang out with, share details of our lives with, someone who we feel we can ride or die with, for we trust them with the small intimate details of our lives. A friend is in your life to help you, to support you. A true friend loves you and cares for you in spite of you and because of you. When others have had enough of you a true friend stays near, right there by your side.
In today’s society, we often use the term friend very loosely, maybe too loosely for you see, some folk will masquerade just saying they are your friend. Let a little wind blow and they’re gone. We must exercise wisdom and discernment as we select our friends for we are all capable of being deceived at one time or another.
But I’ve come to tell you that life will bring you to a time when you need more than a friend. You need a comforter, a regulator, an intercessor, a burden barrier. I’ve come to know that there is one who will never let me down, one who is always around; one who will never leave alone. He’s never too busy doing his own thing that he doesn’t have time for me. Yeah, there’s one who will stick closer to me than a sister, brother, father or even my mother. Yeah, there’s one that will be there when man says no. And that one is Jesus. Oh yes, we have a true and mighty friend in Jesus. If you don’t learn anything else on this journey…we must know that we have more than a friend in Jesus.
If it was not for the word of God, that which I believe to be true, I know that I would not be able to stand as I am today. For you see, I’ve recently lost a dear friend of mine. And right now, I need more than a friend. As I search for peace, as I look to God, as I accept that which hurts; I began to hide myself in the word of God. The flesh is temporary and so is all that it desires and possesses; however, things of the spirit are eternal, everlasting, and imperishable. That’s why we are called to put our first fruit in that which will never leave us. Our love, our hope, our faith and our trust must first be placed in God. He is my assurance and refuge. I tell you, she was my Homegirl. At the news of her home going, I was immediately shaken, shaken to the core. I didn’t want to believe that such a thing could be true, for you see again, I say to you she was my friend...she is my friend…she’s just not here with me…she’s gone home to be with the Lord. My spirit settled down with this realization. For me, the process has begun for I must let go of that perishable flesh and its desires so that the spirit could continue to manifest itself in me. As my spirit rose, so did I, I was now able to call into remembrance those things that God has to say about death. First of all, I’m not to be dismayed for I know that the word of God applies to me too. I have been blessed that God has sheltered me in some areas of my life but as he would have it, he is allowing me to experience the power and majesty of who he is and the preciousness of his grace and mercy. He is being more than a friend to me. He is invoking his wisdom and his power into my life.
Jesus says in John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” Glory to your name Lord, for this is my hope. I don’t have to act as if it’s over because Jesus says that there is life. Life in him. There is further assurance that my friend is okay because I know that she too believed in the word of God. I don’t have to question where she is because I believed that she died in Christ. Hallelujah. “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible… so when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory.” She will live again forever. It is in this hope that I began to rejoice.
The word says “let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3.
In the midst of all my emotions, my spirt speaks to my heart, we must all be ready. We must daily be ready to go and be with the Lord. What does it mean to be ready? Well, we must know that life is our gift from God. No matter how long or short it may be. It doesn’t have anything to do with how we view our circumstances or how we feel. It is a gift from God. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We must come to know him through our study of his word, his life and all his promises. We must, I tell you, we must put all our faith, hope and trust in him. We must develop and nourish a personal relationship with him. We must seek him and obey him. We must live according to his will and purpose. We must know that God has a plan for each of us.
But most of all, we must know that we have more than a friend in Jesus. For you see, he will never leave us nor forsake us. He is ever by our side. He has given us the eternal gift of the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, our protector, and our guide. Jesus establishes us with wisdom and courage to keep the faith that is required on this journey.
As I journey, I acknowledge fully that my loss of the physical is being used as a means to appreciate and strengthen my spiritual gifts. For me, it is a matter of the heart. For I do so love the Lord. I trust the word of God as I share with him. He has prepared me for such a time as this and for that I say thank you.
He’s speaking to me through his word. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Oh yes! Again I’m reminded that this flesh that we share is temporary, only the God that we serve is eternal. As my friend, my savior grants me confirmation and comfort; my spirit keeps me.
Every day is a day of thanksgiving. Every day that I wake I know that God loves me, that he is with me and that he has not forgotten about me. He cares for me. I am blessed to have had my friend in my life for over 40 years. Years that were granted by our Father who is in heaven. As I long for her, I know that his ways and thoughts are not mine. I know that his eye is on the sparrow; surely he is watching over me. I know that as he sits high and looks low he is guiding me, caring for me as I go. I know that it’s no mistake that I live today. I’m not ready yet, better said, he’s not ready for me yet. He’s still preparing me, preparing my testimony of his greatness. I am encouraged that I have a savior who petitions the throne for me daily; who has me in the very palm of his hand. He cradles me, he holds me and he is gently molding me. I am encouraged for in Jesus I have more than a friend. He hears my call and my cry. I am encouraged for I have the eternal hope in Jesus Christ.
God desires that we hide his word in our heart so that is may bring us comfort and good cheer. God’s word will protect us from all the difficult moments for it gives us a peculiar hope. It is ever present to console us when all else is gone. The word of God, the Holy Spirit that dwells within is all that I need. We must always be encouraged, come what may, for we have more than a friend in the eternal, everlasting, comforting presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are truly blessed in the Lord.