I received this video from my dad in an email a couple of days ago. It’s a beautiful little story about a humble, unassuming factory worker named Ben who pays his respects each day to the Lord. I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t watched it yet. So go do that. I’ll wait here!
I cried near the end of this video as words I’d said to my young daughter, an Army ‘brat,’ who had to move every year or two and always had to begin again finding friends, came to mind. We have a son, too, who went through that same challenge. But he was less communicative about his concerns regarding new friendships. So I don’t recall ever having this conversation with him. Doesn’t mean we never did. But I vividly remember encouraging my daughter more than once, as she struggled finding the ‘right fit’ among her peers at each new school. I would say, “All you need is one, good friend.”
And sometimes, when we first arrived at a new duty station for my husband-Soldier, I’d remind her that she had friends, it’s just none of them were ‘here!’ It got easier by the time she reached college to stay in touch with old high school friends and then, after she graduated from college, with those classmates/friends because of social media. And now, as an Army wife herself, she stays in touch with friends from each past assignment via social media still. The ‘new’ media, as I think of it still, can certainly provide positive results when used for a good purpose.
So, when I saw that the video’s title in the email Subject line when I received it, “Jesus Our Friend,” I thought it would be kinda sugary sweet and not my kind of video. (Sorry, Dad!) But I actually loved the story of Ben and the Pastor, and Jesus. And I heard those words in my memory that I’d asserted to my daughter years before, “All you need is one, good friend.” How amazing when that Friend is Jesus? What more could we want or need?
That’s when I began to cry. All I need is one, good Friend. That’s all any of us truly need. Oh, we can flourish with lots of friends, but we won’t truly prosper in the ways that matter if we don’t make Jesus our Friend. He’s already our Brother. Lots of brothers are also friends to their siblings. But a friendship with Jesus is the type of relationship we are meant to have with Him. It’s the relationship He yearns, thirsts, intensely desires, to have with each one of us.
And, if you’re feeling lonesome and like no one understands you, maybe you can recall the reminder I gave my child, “You have friends, they’re just not here.” You amend that to, “You have a Friend in Jesus, and He’s with you all the time!” So you’re never alone. What a grace, what a blessing, to be forever grateful for.
Do you know that old gospel hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus?” It may be a bit overly sentimental, but the words are nonetheless true! Below I’ve provided the link for a more modern version of the same idea. It’s by Matt Maher who, if you’ve followed me for any length of time you know, is a favorite contemporary Christian artist of mine.
Let us pray that we who have Jesus for a Friend never forget it and have opportunities to share with others the good news that God wants to be our One, Good Friend. For keeps. Pinky swear! Even if the whole world walks out, He will be with us; His Spirit can live in us, if we’ll just breathe that Holy Spirit in. You’ve got to let the Lord fill your heart and soul and then Jesus into your heart where He longs to be. Then you find the true peace we all need because that One, good Friend is all any of us need. No matter where you go, He’ll go with you! Because you’ll carry Him with you. And because His Father is our Father, you can never wander so far that you’ll be outside of His grace.
Remember that Jesus is there, loving you, even when it may appear to the world that you’re all alone. Even when you look around and friends seem scarce and you can’t believe He’d remain with you because you’ve wandered so far from the path you were on. His love for you, the redemption He provided through His death, the life He promises with His resurrection, don’t change. You might feel alone sometimes. You NEVER are. Talk to Jesus, talk to your Friend. Watch Ben again and learn, watch the minister again and learn. It’s not about fancy words or lengthy monologues. It’s about checking in with a Friend.