“No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” ~ Joshua 1:5
Never has there been a greater model for friendship than Jesus Christ. Jesus was always there when He was needed. Strong, stable, caring, He touched everyone He met at their own private level of need:
* To the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
* To Nicodemus, a Pharisee, He said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
* To Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
* To the woman accused of adultery, Jesus said, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you? ‘No,’ she replied. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more.’”
There are so many more examples of Jesus meeting people at their time of need: healing the man with leprosy, raising the widow’s son who died, feeding the five thousand, and comforting and teaching the disciples with all their confused, misguided thinking. To those who suffered physical afflictions, Jesus not only spoke, but He also healed. Jesus was a friend to all while He physically walked the earth. The miracle of all miracles is that the Incarnation continues in the lives of His people today. He is still that friend who sticks closer than a brother.
He is a permanent, unchanging friend in a world that steers itself on a wildly swerving collision course with the future. As we immerse ourselves in His boundless love, He gives us the thrill of being surprised by an unspeakable joy. He gives us the courage to reexamine our views. He somehow makes it easy for us to admit that we don’t yet understand a thing. He upsets our tidy, carefully designed prisons and sets before us mansions of grace and beauty.
All the time He is saying, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Right now He wants to help us turn our troubles into triumphs, our failures into faith, and our mental and spiritual paralysis into limitless possibilities for good. He also wants us to be His hands, His feet, His heart to men and women, boys and girls who don’t have a friend—to be there to care when we’re needed most. It’s one of the simplest, yet most profound, principles of all when it comes to learning the fine art of friendship—which is a major tenet of Christianity.
At Sunrise, we delight in meeting new friends, accepting everyone with dignity. Whatever church you attend, ensure that there is a welcoming attitude of Christian spirit. Jesus was (and still is) a friend to everyone—no one was (or ever will be) excluded from His fellowship. Let’s be a friend to everyone and always let the “Son” shine! May your joy be full.