Daily Archives: September 29, 2013

Be thankful for friends

Let’s be thankful for friends. They are supportive.They simply give expecting nothing in return. They are there when you fall on hard times with that steaming hot coffee and a heart that cares when you need it most. They buy groceries for you when you are unemployed or too ill to work. Let’s value those who give a far greater gift than money could ever buy — themselves. These ambassadors of hope give of their time and finances. They fight the injustice of poverty.They do all they can so no child will know want, no man or woman would see their children go hungry.

U.S essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.” In my own life, the blessing of friends has been a gift to me that no dollar value can be placed on. When life’s struggles seem insurmountable, I always have friends who help me see things in a more positive light. They encourage me to weather the storm, that beyond the dark clouds of struggle there is a bright road ahead filled with hope and a purpose from God, beyond what I could have ever imagined.  All of them are right.

It is as in my own journey of faith I’m saying to God, ” I don’t know the way, please show me”, that He has been hearing the cries from my longing heart. In the darkness none of us can see the light, although my wife Karen teases me that I have cat’s eyes and can see in the dark. As I stumble over a chair or some object , the Lord reminds me in my physical pain as I yell out, “Ouch!”, that my eyesight is no better than anyone else’s. Although, I must confess it’s kind of cool to be thought of by Karen in this way.  My nephews Joe and David , would say it’s so whack or sick. Who said a 50 year-old can’t learn the youth lingo?

Friends — so many of us can reflect upon those times that a friend was there in our moment of crisis, when life became intolerable. Even in the midnight hour as sleep evaded me, the stress of life’s hard knocks were too hard to endure alone, a call to a valued friend named, John, would be just what I needed. He remains in my heart and life a friend and fellow brother in Christ, who lives up to the Emerson quote, “A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.”

I don’t need to wear any masks with John. I can be real with him. I can scream and even yell.  John accepts me for who I am, while both encouraging and challenging me to be all I can be for my Lord.

For many years of my life I wore the pain of my physical and emotional abuse from my manic depressant schizophrenic father as a badge of honour. I earned this pain. I had a right to it. No one was going to deprive me of my right to be mad.

Yet, that was where the Enemy had me firmly in his grasp. It was all a lie from the pit of Hell itself. Christ had wanted, had been begging for me to cast all my cares upon Him.  I was called to walk in the light, not the darkness. My Lord said directly but with a heart of compassion, “Kevin, every tear you cried, I was there. When your father berated you, put you down, called you every name under the sun, terrified you as a toddler, I was there. Not one tear escaped my notice. I love you. You think I abandoned you. I was always there. Kevin, all your liquid prayers were heard.”

Thank God for John. He would spend hours,  countless hours hearing my pain, the deep rivers of sadness within me, the anger, the hurt, the gnawing torture of my soul. He heard me as I poured out my pain to him, my unforgiving heart that needed to forgive my father, but could not not until I was in my late thirties. He listened as I described in vivid detail the terror that sought to destroy me.  Evil did not win. My saviour won. Why? Because friends with hearts as big as my hope for today and all my tomorrows cared, gave me the agape unconditional love I needed.

Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity”(NASB). I thank God for my friend, John, both a friend and a brother.

Let us be thankful for our friends. They are the gift that gives us hope and a resolve to fight life’s trials.  Thank God for them.  Return to them that cup of hot coffee and the gift of your compassion.

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