Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Gift of Friendship...

One of my favorite television shows of all time is "I Love Lucy". The old black and white episodes with Lucy and Ricky, Fred and Ethel crack me up because these four funny friends always manage to get themselves in and out of hilarious pickles in the course of a thirty minute show.

Of all the episodes I've seen, few are funnier than the one where Lucy and Ethel each buy the same dress for a benefit show they'll be appearing in, and each promises to return her dress and purchase another one so they won't show up in the same gown. Neither keeps her word, and on the day of the event they face each other on stage in the same dress singing a song called "Friendship," as they rip the flowers off of each other's dress.

In scripture, there is an account of one of the most beautiful friendships in all of the Bible--David and Jonathan. 1 Samuel 17 and 18 record the account of David's successful slaying of the giant Goliath and the celebratory conversation that took place with Saul after his incredible feat.

Chapter 18 says that after David finished talking with Saul, he and Jonathan made a pact of friendship because Jonathan loved David. In reality, Jonathan could and maybe should have felt threatened by David, yet he was able to look beyond jealousy, envy, competition, and ambition, instead appreciating that this was a man who shared his faith in God's mighty power and expressed similar determination to humbly honor The Lord rather than seeking self-glorification.

We all need friends like this--friends who see the good in us and celebrate it--friends who are not competing with us but who appreciate our "bests" as we appreciate theirs--friends who will guard our secrets and our confidences--friends who can be trusted to never betray us and vice versa.

If and when we find a friend like that, we are most blessed. I have a couple of friends who are so precious to me and I offer God my sincerest thanks for allowing me this good fortune.

My prayer for you is that you will find friends who love you like Jonathan loved David and that you will be that kind of friend to them. It is a beautiful, amazing thing to have a true friend.

Father, thank you for the precious friends you've given me. You know their names and you know how grateful I am for the gift of their trustworthiness, faithfulness, shared faith and values, prayer partnership, honesty, and love. I am so blessed and I pray that my precious children and grandchildren will experience the blessing of wonderful friendships. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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