I am thinking about the Scripture, Proverbs 3:27.
It reads: Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
I'm thinking about what this means. In the past nine years, I have gone through a very dark place. There has really only been my husband there to help me through, my husband and God. I thank God for my husband every day and give thanks to God for standing with me. I would have died without both of them. There have been a couple of friends that sought me out and ministered to me and I am grateful to God for them.
Before my "Valley of death", I would have translated that verse to mean money. When I met someone who seemed to be in need, I'd send them a check or an anonymous gift card. But I know what true loneliness feels like now and my interpretation of that verse has changed.
Sometimes, when someone is bedridden for a long time, an afternoon of conversation is the most wonderful gift they could receive. God doesn't always help us by giving money. Sometimes, He causes a good friend to call or come by for a visit. When I am up and able to get around, I'm going to make sure the few friends I have are ministered to. I want to be the hand of God when I am able. What an honor!
The 23rd Psalm tells us very clearly how Jesus takes care of His flock. I want to be more like Him. I remember when my mother and I talked to each other nearly every day in person and then later by phone. I remember her telling me that she hadn't heard from this person or that person. I would always respond, "Mother, when did you last write or call this person?" She would usually say that it had been weeks or months, and I would say, "Mother, you need to tend your friend garden" and we would both laugh.
I have had very few good friends in my life. Oh, I've had many acquaintances. Outside of church friends and work friends, there was little time to campaign or encourage more friendships to grow, in my view at the time. Time is an expensive asset and it is evenly given to everyone. We all have the same amount of time in our day - every day. I wish now that I had been wiser in choosing my friends and had tried to have more friends. I wish I had tended my "friend garden" better, and planted more friendship seeds.
We never know when trouble will come, but I know without peradventure of doubt that it will come. You will need your friends and if you have chosen wisely, your friends will seek you out in order to make sure you have what you need.
So, if one of your friends drops off your radar, or you haven't heard from someone in a while, call them and find out what their need is. Most likely it won't be money. It will be something that has a far greater value; your friend will need your time. They will need you. I know this from personal experience.
My friends who were there for me, God knows who you are and I pray He rains down blessings upon you that last your lifetime.
I love you all.
©October 9, 2021 Susan Anderson Kelly
Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.