What a friend we have in Jesus

Good friends are hard to come by, but I’ve been blessed. I’ve had many friends, but they’ve not all been constant. Each phase of my life has brought me into contact with new people. The girls I ate lunch with and passed notes to in high school knew every detail of my life — who I liked, what I wore, who hurt my feelings. But we lived in different places after high school, and as they got married and had kids and I didn’t, we grew apart. In college, it was a new set of friends, people who had similar goals and dreams, people who also wanted to break free of the rules and constraints of the places where they’d grown up. My friends and I stayed up all night talking and studying, amazed by the things we had in common, helping each other map out our futures. When the “future” arrived, we all went our own directions and got busy. The phone calls and visits became farther and farther apart. The early years of my career were also the early years of my marriage, so I didn’t do much with anyone but my husband (and most of my friends were busy doing the same thing). After my children were born, I found myself moving in different circles, resuming contact with friends who also had kids, meeting people at preschool open houses and school music programs, bonding with women who, like me, jumped at activities that offered child care. Along the way I’ve found women who will share rides and pick up my children, women who like to read like I do (or shop or eat at the same Italian restaurant), people who attend the same church, people whose kids are involved in the same sport or band or play as mine.

In each stage I’ve met some amazing, bright, witty, vivacious, fun, caring, good people. But I’ve learned that even though the friendships were real, many times they were based on a shared experience — and once that experience ended, so did the relationship. Most of the time, good memories and feelings remained; we just didn’t have a whole lot in common anymore. We’d run out of things to say.

But there’s always something to say to the Lord. He doesn’t get bored hearing the same old things. Even if we run out of words regarding our own lives, there are never enough words to describe Him. To thank Him. To remember what He’s done. As long as we’re wanting to be friends with Him, we will have plenty of common ground. He doesn’t outgrow us or move into another phase; He walks right next to us wherever we are. He holds stubbornly onto us, no matter how much we do change. Because He never does. And if we’re walking with Him, trying to be more like Him, any changes we make will actually bring us into closer communion with Him. He is unlike any other friend we’ll ever have, and no matter what, the friendship will endure forever. He puts no limits on it, no length, no breadth, no height, no end. He offers it all.

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