I consider myself to have been richly blessed with many special acquaintances on this planet. Of course my family is number one – my husband, my three children and their better halves along with their children and countless pets. I’ve also been given the friendship of classmates in school, co-workers, students and a whole big church community.
Why shouldn’t I be thankful? Why shouldn’t I be filled with gratitude? When you measure life with the number of people in it, you aren’t always being realistic. When times get tough, you often find out who your real friends are. Those who stick with you when you’re down and out – who aren’t just along for a free ride – those who genuinely care about you.
There were days when I didn’t think I had a friend in the world. I felt the pressure of my peers to be a certain way, to dress to fit the mold, to fit in. In my efforts to please everyone else, I compromised myself. I made mistakes which I would eventually regret, but at the time it seemed right.
Now as I get closer to the end of my years, I can look back and thank God for putting obstacles in my way, so that I would learn how to deal with them in the future. He allowed sadness to overtake me when loved ones passed before their time. He showed me how hard it was to live on little, yet He also showered me with earthly treasures and then brought me back to reality by letting that pass and showing me what was really important.
I think we all face times of complete emptiness, when we think we’re alone in our battles. That time can lead us to self inflicted pain, anxiety and even thoughts of the world being a better place without us. I’ve felt that way a few times over this life span of mine.
We live in a world filled with unknowns and indecision – conflict – anger, hate, division – corruption, lies, politics as usual and a pandemic that seems to be touching everyone. All of that is enough to make a normally cheerful person, feel like crawling under a rock and hiding forever.
I often feel like Solomon – chasing the wind. Both my husband and I are artists. I can still hear my dad saying, “Why don’t you get a real job?” Most folks would think we’re chasing the wind and perhaps we are. Still I feel that even though we can no longer physically enrich the world with brain or brawn, we can fill the desire for beauty and words that will encourage and inspire.
Besides that we do have an everlasting friend, who will not let us down. Who will be available 24/7. Who will provide answers when we feel lost or alone. Who will love us unconditionally and want only what’s best for us. What a friend we have in Jesus.