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Faith's Firm Foundation: Friendship Through Good Times and Bad

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Friendship Through Good Times and Bad

Today, I'm processing, mentally and emotionally, all that's transpired in the last few days.  Here are a few of the things that have been going on and my thoughts on them:

  • I mentioned in my Thankful Thursday post that one of my best friends lost her father suddenly last week.  Early Monday morning her mom, who I have enjoyed getting to know the last few years, went into the hospital. (She was able to be released, Praise the Lord, and attend the funeral the next day.)  It's overwhelming when you're grieving your father's death, and then you suddenly have to worry about your mom, and be strong for her, too.  After my father died suddenly many years ago, for the next few years my mom, who lived about 45 minutes away, experienced anxiety or panic attacks, and I would be called to leave my husband and 2 small children to go the emergency room, sometimes late at night.  I knew how overwhelmed my friend must have felt, and I was honored when she asked me to go to the hospital to sit with her mom, while the family was all at the funeral home that night.  My friend and her family have been there for us, and done so much for our family over the years, that we could never repay them.  It was a pleasure, and no burden, to do this small thing for her.  My friend's brother, who had come from out of state, and who I had never met before, was at the hospital for a short while.  I find it fascinating and enjoyable to get to know the family of my good friends.  (You know, there's a genetic thing going on, which is so fun to observe!)
  • Yesterday was the funeral.  The service was so well planned and orchestrated, honoring to their dad and to God.  The 4 "children," including my friend, were able to give tribute to their father, while controlling their emotions, which is amazing.  Any one of them could be a public speaker.  The music was beautiful, and so appropriate: 23 grandchildren (all but 4 are young men so you heard mostly male voices--tall, good-looking young men, dressed in dark suits) sang the hymn, "The Love of God."  The sound of that many male harmonizing voices was stirring. My friend's son sings in a male quartet, which sang "The Mansions of the Lord" with string instruments accompanying, and I've never heard them sing better.  Just before a congregational hymn, "Victory in Jesus," there was a gospel presentation, woven into a tribute, by my friend's husband.  I would love to have every one of my unsaved family members hear what he said.  I'm praying that anyone who doesn't know the Lord who was there yesterday, is seriously considering his words, and that they'll surrender their lives and trust Christ as their Savior.
  • My friend's dad, though not perfect--none of us are--was a believer in Christ, and lived out and taught his children strong character and values, and was an example of the qualities which he spoke about as being important.  Extremely strong and hard-working, thrifty, outgoing (he would go up and talk to complete strangers), employed at the same job for 48 years, faithful to his wife of 60 years, loving to his children and grandchildren, they learned well from him.  The youngest son, speaking last, told of his dad's questioning him when he was young about whether he'd given his life to the Lord yet.  When the answer came back a negative, his dad told him, "Get with it!" A man of few words, but he left a Godly heritage.

Going through this last week with our friends, one of the deepest impressions I'm feeling, is that when you've experienced Christian friendship for almost 20 years with someone, and you've gone through heartache and loss, been with each other through weddings of children and funerals of parents, through good times and bad...

it forges a bond.  There is a tie that is deep and strong, and you know you'll be there for one another. That's a good thing.
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Blogger jenniferO said...

What a blessing to have a good Christian friend for so long and through so much! True Christian friends can be hard to come by. Thanks for sharing.

March 31, 2011 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

God says in His Word to choose wise companions, but I have prayed for Him to Bring wise companions to us many times. Sometimes it's very hard to find wise ones (or be wise ones). I hope you've been able to find some Christian support where you are. Continue praying. If God hasn't allowed it yet, He has more for you to learn in this season, and though lonely, that loneliness is meant to cause you to draw very, very near to Him. He is the Best Friend.

March 31, 2011 at 7:59 AM  

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