Be That Friend

13 Jan

“I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”  ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

If you read the trilogy, or followed the movies, for that matter, you will know that Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins developed quite a strong bond throughout their travels.  Sam “invited himself” to be a part of the fellowship by snooping at the window while Gandalf was discussing a potentially perilous journey with Frodo.  From that beginning to the end, Sam was an important part of Frodo’s life and Frodo’s quest.

In many ways, Sam depicts all the qualities of a best friend.  He was faithful and loyal, brave and fearless, and was always ready to help Frodo carry his burden even going so far, for a brief while, to carry the ring of power when Frodo was incapacitated. That sounds a lot like a good friend of ours, does it not?  Jesus is faithful and loyal, brave and fearless, and takes upon Himself all that could incapacitate us.  Jesus does not want us to fail.  Jesus wants us to return to Him.

Friendship is something that is spoken about by so many.  Unfortunately, there are many definitions of friendship that are totally wrong.  We often tell someone or signal to someone that we can be friends “if”.  The ifs contain all sorts of conditions.  If they do not deliver, our friendship will be withheld.  What a horrible way to define friendship.

Friends should be people who truly care about one another.  They are people who go out on the limb for one another.  They love unconditionally and always stand ready to help.  They do not condition aid.  They do not put conditions on their presence.  They are simply available at all times and in all situations.

I was in junior high school when a teacher told us that definition of friendship.  He said that, in our lifetime, if we found one or two people who fit that definition of friend, we would be truly lucky.  I did not believe it at the time because friendships at a younger age are many and varied and we believe they will last forever.  However, a true friend is a rarity and one that should be celebrated.

We have a friend in Jesus.  If we could be such a friend to another, what a blessing for both.  If we have such a friend in our lives, what a blessing.  Here’s to true friendship!

FAITH ACTION:  Be the best you can be for others without expecting anything in return.  Loyalty is its own reward.