Today’s Truth

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.

Questions like:

“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?

Let’s Pray

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.

More from the Girlfriends

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© 2021 by Kathi Lipp. All rights reserved.

6 Responses to “Walking With Friends in Times of Adversity”

  1. Carol says:

    Thanks so much for this am writing post.
    Just went through this situation with a friend that has been isolated for months due to the virus.
    The best thing I could do for her was just let her talk. She is compromised (health) and the frustration level she experiences is through the roof.
    But,by talking things out, she was able to share and we even shared some laughter.
    I just had to remember the verse, “Carry the burdens of others, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2) Just taking my time and giving it to her, was a gift that meant someone cared enough to just let her be heard.
    Thank you for bringing this verse from Proverbs to mind, for me today.
    God bless your writing ministry in the coming new year.

  2. Cathy says:

    I’ve been studying the fruit of the Spirit “kindness.”
    One of the expressions of kindness is to notice and be aware of another person’s need of encouragement. We aren’t likely able to alter most things, but asking and showing concern often serves as an enormous uplift to a hurting person. Personally, my heart is lifted any time another person offers me the smallest compliment or shows concern!

  3. Mari says:

    This came at a perfect time. (But really, how else does God work?) My Christmas was very empty and lonely. This morning, my beautiful friend and mentor, sent several texts. I didn’t even want to read them, as I knew she would be sharing how wonderful her Christmas was and how great her family is doing. Ugghh. (Yep, full on pity-party, complete with black balloons). I was trying to think about how to respond without sounding resentful and full of self-pity, and then I read this. It was a great reminder to celebrate WITH her, because realistically, she too, has had many “Ugghh” holidays. And on my good days, she has ALWAYS celebrated with me. And she understands and cares, regardless of it is an “Ugghh” or “Best Day Ever” kind of day. I feel as if I am really good at noticing when someone is struggling. But it is so much harder to let people in when I am the one who is doing the struggling.

  4. Candy says:

    My best friend is going through a really tough time as caregiver for her husband. I’ve tried to be of help but struggle with exactly what to do. This devotional came at the perfect time. I had just invited her over to walk yesterday. We had a good talk and some tears. She thoroughly enjoyed getting out for a short time. I will continue to seek ways to be there for her.

  5. lleni says:

    Thanks Kathi
    Again wonderful blessed message and as my family in isolation again you helped me think of more ways to bless my family to really listen and take more time to help. praying for your great ministry for now and through 2022 xx

  6. Mary Anne says:

    This reply is to “Mari” … appreciate your honesty. Although my Christmnas was not empty, I was lonely. Tears come in spurts. All related to fractured family issues. I just found this ‘girlfriends in God’ website and have signed up. God surely has put friends in our lives so we will not be forgotten. Thankful he put that one friend in yours that texted you. Just letting you know the fact that you even chose to submit a comment here is a good choice because it spoke to me too Mari.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8