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August 27, 2015 

 

NO ONE EVER CARED FOR ME LIKE JESUS

How many friends do you have? Can you count them on one hand…both? How long have you maintained those friendships? What determines which individuals in your life are considered friends, as opposed to just being acquaintances, people you’ve met in the course of your life? Maybe you consider all your contacts on various social networking sites as true friends, thus including hundreds in that category! However, consider this… they aren’t even acquaintances… you’ve never actually met them face to face! But can they still be considered friends? What constitutes a friend? The Bible says, “A friend loves you all the time, …” (Proverbs 17:17 ERV). A friend, a real friend, will be there when you need them. There’s an old expression “fair weather friend” which meant a person who was only there when things were going well – fair weather – but when trials came, when the storms of life hit, they were nowhere to be found! How often has a Facebook friend offered prayers on your behalf, or for a cause for which you’ve requested prayers? Isn’t that a sign of true friendship, of love? I think of the many mail-order brides who wrote to men living thousands of miles away in the Western United States. Had they not answered advertisements with letters and built relationships that ultimately led to marriage, how much harder might life have been for those settlers and their descendants wouldn’t be alive today! So I believe that friendships can be cultivated from a distance, and love can develop from honest, trusting communications through a variety of means.   

Several years ago, I went to a writer’s conference and had the pleasure of meeting some of my favorite authors in person. No longer were they just names in a book that I’d read! I expected those published writers to be standoffish, hard to approach, but they were just like everyone else; they weren’t puffed up with self-importance of being best selling authors but we’re very easy to talk to. When I was able to sit and talk with Tricia Goyer, I was pleased at her gentle, joyful spirit! And when Liz Curtis Higgs stopped to talk to me and sign a book, she was just as I had envisioned – a lovely, Christian woman! More recently, I was blessed to meet one of my long-term Facebook friends; I immediately recognized her when she walked into the coffee shop. I felt an instant connection, like we were kindred spirits! It surprised me when we had talked for an hour and a half non-stop, and could have gone on longer if we didn’t have other commitments! I have several Facebook ‘friends’ whom I love although we’ve never met! They have shared in my challenges and I in theirs, as well as rejoicing in each other’s triumphs and celebrations. We’ve prayed for each other and counseled together. My friends live around the world, yet feel as close as my heart! It is possible to feel a camaraderie with someone based on exchange of ideas, thoughts, and communications, such as in private messages or posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.   

But going back to the idea of meeting someone face to face; is that really necessary for someone to be friend? We haven’t met Jesus face-to-face, yet we call Him our Friend. As children we often sang “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and “Jesus Loves Me”. We were taught that, when we couldn’t count on earthly friends, we could always count on Jesus! Jesus defined friendship to His disciples like this: “The greatest love you can show is to give your life for your friends. You are my friends if you obey my commandments… I’ve called you friends because I’ve made known to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father.” (John 15:13-15 GW). We, too, have the privilege of knowing the things Jesus taught His followers; we also can have the assurance that He laid down His life for each of us! And we know that we will someday see Him I person; He will no longer be just someone we know from the pages of the Bible. “What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God’s knowledge of me.” (1 Corinthians 13:12 GNT). So, meeting someone in person is not always a prerequisite for friendship, but meeting them in person, face-to-face somehow completes the cycle of becoming friends. Friendships, however they are built, need to be cherished! True friends are hard to find, so once found, that relationship needs to be nurtured and held onto! That is even more true in our relationship with the Lord.  

Today’s <3 song is about our one true Friend, Jesus:

“I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus, 

Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true. 

I would tell you how He changed my life completely; 

He did something that no other friend could do. 

No one ever cared for me like Jesus; 

There’s no other friend so kind as He. 

No one else could take the sin 

And darkness from me; 

O, how much He cares for me. 

All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me; 

All my heart was full of misery and woe, 

Jesus placed His strong arms about me 

And He led me in the way I ought to go. 

No one ever cared for me like Jesus; 

There’s no other friend so kind as He. 

No one else could take the sin 

And darkness from me; 

O, how much He cares for me. 

Ev’ry day He comes to me with new assurance; 

More and more I understand His word of love. 

But I’ll never know just why He came to save me, 

Till someday I see His blessed face above. 

No one ever cared for me like Jesus; 

There’s no other friend so kind as He. 

No one else could take the sin 

And darkness from me; 

O, how much He cares for me.”

“There are “friends” who pretend to be friends, but there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 TLB). Have a blessed day!

ABOUT MY BOOKS:

My first two books are available , or ebook formats. they are the first two books in my group called “Journeys of Faith”. Take a look on my books page for “Through the Waters” and “Across the Wilderness”.   Now that I’ve retired, I am hoping to get “Out of the Valley”  to the publisher within the next month or 6 weeks. 

Also, I will be publishing several ebooks, separate from the Journeys of Faith group,  including a compilation of  my daughter’s poems call “Heart of a Dove”, the name which she chose, and two other books related to the grieving process: 1) a personal tribute to my daughter called, “Only in My Dreams”, and 2) an overview of the various ways we grieve other losses in our lives, named “White Crosses Line the Highways of Our Lives”.  As they are released through Kindle Direct Publishing, links will be placed on this website.

I am also launching a non-profit organization to try to reach the many in need around the world.   Watch for more on JBWWO.org once it is launched; I will appreciate any donations, not just of money, but supplies and time, to help in this project!

Take time to search for somebody in need in your own community, as well.   Donate time feeding the homeless. Find new, innovative ways to reach out in your community.   Most of all, don’t forget the commission in James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Feel free to use the emails on this website to contact me regarding scheduling a book-signing and/or talk to a reading group, church group or just a gathering of friends. I am always open to new experiences and meeting new people. 

 <>< Jeanne F. Brooks ><>

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