Friday, January 16, 2009

Counting The Blessings of Friendship

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” - Proverbs 17:17

One of the treasures you discover in a crisis situation, is the crowning jewels of friendship. I was reflecting this morning, with a heart full of gratitude, on the joy our friends have brought to us during our current trials. You never really understand the value of friends sometimes, until your world is turned upside down. When the dust settles, your true friends are the ones left standing beside you no matter what.

I wish I could express to each of them, just how much their friendship means. But words cannot describe the magnitude of what I want to convey. It is more than I could ever say. Friends become “brothers” in every sense of the word in times of trouble. They are more valuable than any precious stone. When the going gets tough, your friends get going to rally by your side and share the journey.

I came across a beautiful poem this morning, from my collection of poems over the years. The author is unknown. But the words are known, in every heart of someone who has had a true friend. I would like to share it with you now.

Friends That Count

The friends that love us always,
In the good times and the bad;
The friends that love us always
Are the friends that keep us glad.

The friends that cling in tempest
As they do in calms, are those
That make the paths of hardship
Seem the paths of song and rose.

The friends that love us always,
When we go their way or not,
Are the friends our hearts remember
When the others are forgot.

The friends that stick the closest
When the trouble grows the worst;
The friends that love us always,
Just the way they did at first-

They are the crowning jewels
Of the coronets we weave
In the dream of tender moments
When the troubles start to leave.

We revere their names forever
And we see their faces clear.
The friends that love us always,
Whether sun or shadow’s near.

Don’t you love it? How perfectly true are those words. The thing about friends is this. They don’t have to “do anything.” They just have to be there. Right now we have so much love and support from our friends and family. They are ready at a moment’s notice to do whatever it takes to help us. It takes my breath away to be surrounded by such kindness.

I know as things progress with Johnny’s situation, I will need them more and more. Right now, their phone calls, their visits, their letters and their emails give us incredible strength to face whatever is in front of us. I do not fear what is ahead of me, because I know my friends are there, waiting to help our family fight the good fight.

Friends come in all shapes and sizes and genders. But through this incredible journey, we have discovered a new kind of friendship beyond our wildest imagination. Strangers that we never knew before have joined us on this journey. When we initially put out a rally call to everyone we knew, for prayers and support, we were unprepared for the deluge that came flowing to us.

All our friends and family rallied everyone they knew, who rallied everyone they knew, and it just went on and on. We had also specifically requested people write “snail mail” to Johnny, so he would receive mail and look forward each day to walking to the mailbox. The cards and letters and postcards began pouring in by the dozens each day. Now, over six months later, there is always a letter waiting for Johnny in the mailbox each day. And the beauty of this is, the letters mostly come from people we have never met.

I am amazed at the wondrous ways God can bring people together, and form friendships through the spirit of Christ that unites us all. Friends DO love at all times, and DO become “brothers” in the face of adversity. They absolutely are the most precious gifts in life that we must treasure. “Things” don’t matter. Friends matter. Friends count.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all our friends out there, that lift us up on their shoulders to help us through this valley. I do see that “one set of footprints in the sand” when I look down. I know it is our sweet Lord walking through each of you, and carrying us to His victory.

Today I wish each of you the blessings of having true friends. Remember, the best way to have a friend is to BE a friend.

Beautiful blessings,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How true this is Rene and sooo many people are praying for you, Scarlett and Johnny. I hope he is doing OK since the chemo was this week. So many people came to our aid and supported us when my husband was sick. So many people sent emails from all over the country saying that they were praying for him and it just really lifted his spirits. Prayer is powerful and I find myself praying for Johnny at sooo many times. I know the battle that you are fighting and just remember that you are not alone because you have Jesus and so many friends. In Jesus' Love..Janice