A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity (Proverbs 17:17 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Every morning, it’s the same routine. At about 7 AM, I head out to the chicken run to let the girls into their bigger “play yard” that my husband built (a larger, less secure area than their chicken run).
When I get there, the three big girls who are eighteen months old, Cheddar, Brie and Pepper Jack (we call them the OGs) are in the run, dancing back and forth just bursting to get out. One of our new five-month-old girls, Bullwinkle, is there with them.
The only one who is not in the run is Rocky. Rocky and Bullwinkle came to us at the same time and Miss Rocky is the smallest of all the girls. She stays in the coop.
What I didn’t know about chickens before I got them…well, could fill the internet. And I’m still learning how much more I don’t know every day. One of the surprising things I discovered is there truly is a pecking order. And that’s how they establish the order — by pecking each other.
So Rocky stays out of the small run in the morning to prevent a reminder that she is at the bottom of that order.
But just like I have my morning routine, so does Bullwinkle, our tiny, black Ameraucana chicken.
Because every morning, when I go and open the run door to let the girls out, the three big girls come charging into the play yard to see if any treats have magically appeared overnight.
But Bullwinkle runs the opposite way, back into the coop, to let Rocky know the door has been opened and it’s safe (or at least safer) to come out and play.
And every single morning, I think, “God, make me like Bullwinkle.”
Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
This was the first Proverb I memorized as a teenager shortly after accepting Christ. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have so many good friends in my life.
A few short years later, I’d been abandoned by many when life got “messy,” and I’ve also failed others when their lives became complicated.
So many of us have Proverbs 17:17 stitched onto a pillow or painted on a sign in our kitchens in a cute font. It feels like a “light” verse, easily Instagram-able.
But I’ve come to believe this verse is one of the most challenging in all of scripture.
It reminds us we are to be there for the people God placed in our lives, no matter the circumstances. When we suspect they’re struggling, it’s up to us to pause and see how they are doing and what they need.
Oftentimes, I try to put on a brave face in the “time of adversity.” But my friends, my “like a sister” friends, know this about me and will ask the “one more” question.
“Hey there, I know you can put on a brave face, but how are you really doing?”
“I want you to know you don’t have to be tough with me – I already know how strong you are.”
Those friends, who not only know how to love us well, but know how to let us hurt well, are one of the greatest gifts a person can have in the body of Christ.
I need those people. And I need to be someone who, while running ahead, looks back to make sure all my people are okay. And if they are not? Runs back to walk with them.
I want to be the one who notices the friend who is having a hard time, the person who can see what others may miss.
I want to be the one the Holy Spirit nudges on the shoulder and says, “Go get her. She needs someone to walk with her.”
Are you feeling the nudge? How can you walk with someone who needs you today?
Father, help me see that person who needs a friend, a guide, a comfort. Let me be the safe place for someone You put in my path today.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
When was the last time someone came looking for you for comfort? How did you respond?
Is the Holy Spirit bringing someone to mind who needs your comfort today?
Click on the comment button and share one way you can comfort others in times of adversity.
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