My friends, people who have been important since my earliest years - the ones I’ve laughed with, played with and cried with. They have been my classmates and teammates. I've been in their weddings and they've been part of mine. Some of them I haven’t seen in years and others I see on a weekly basis. And now thanks to Facebook, I’ve reconnected with friends from days gone by.
Recently I’ve been thinking about friendships and how they change through the years - with graduation taking place I hear many young people say to one another, “let’s keep in touch,” “we’ll be friends forever” or something of the sort. I flashback and recall saying the same thing, but I really believed it too! I had spent years with these people and made memories - though others had told me and I had seen it happen, I was planning to be different - my friends and I wouldn’t drift apart.
It’s been 16 years since I walked across the stage, received my diploma and moved to a new chapter in my life. At the time I didn’t know what that all meant, but one thing I was certain of was a lifetime wasn’t too long to live as friends.
Well, it seems those who advised me things would change were right - nothing has stayed the same and that’s not all bad. Some friends go, others come, some return and a few friendships have grown stronger. Though I haven’t seen or spoken with some friends in years, I still count them as a friend, but I wonder if I will always be one they call friend.
Awhile back I read this poem (I apologize for not knowing the author - he deserves credit for great words and insight) and it has me thinking…
My friend, I stand in judgment now,
And feel that you’re to blame somehow.
On Earth I walked with you day by day,
And never did you show me the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory,
But never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim;
You could have led me safe to Him.
Though we lived together here on Earth,
You never told me of the second birth.
And now I stand this day condemned,
Because you failed to mention Him.
You taught me so many things, that’s true;
I called you “friend” and trusted you.
But I learn now that it’s too late,
And you could have kept me from this fate.
We walked by day and talked by night,
And yet you showed me not the light.
You let me live, and love, and die,
You knew I’d never live on high.
Yes, I called you “friend” in life,
And trusted you through joy and strife.
And, yet, on coming to this dreadful end,
I cannot, now, call you “my friend.”
It’s true, my friendships have changed over the years - my best friend has a new name, Jesus, and He plays a role that will never change, Savior. This was one friend I never really expected, but am now so grateful for! He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24) and truly the ONE who loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17).
Today I wonder, will those who called me friend in this life say the same in the next? It’s not enough for a social network to say we’re friends…remember another line in the song? Friends are friends forever if the Lord is Lord of them!
Though I didn’t believe it years ago - friendships do change, but they can last forever! That only happens though when we share the same best friend! Jesus isn’t like the friends from junior high - He is big enough to be friends with us all and though He’s my best friend, He can be yours too!!
Someday just like our time together in school, on a team or in a town our time together on this earth will be over and I wonder, “will you call me friend?” I pray you will! And friend if you’ve read these words and have questions, want to know more or are curious how Jesus can be your friend please let me know! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org If these are words you’d like to share with a friend, please do!