“He that maketh many friends doeth it to his own destruction; but there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”- Proverbs 18:24
My Friend can admit me into the mystic meaning of the daisy and lift this poor frail life of mine into fellowship with the rhythmic order of the infinite universe of God. This world is His. There is never a bank of flowers but that they exist through His power. There is never a glorious sunset that flames upon my vision but that His hand has painted it. There is no music worth the name but that He presided over its first thinking. There is no color but that is an expression of my Friend’s beauty. I am seeing Him increasingly as the days go by in all the colors of life, and in all the grays more-over, and in the somberness. My Friend owns the world, and I am finding out that you cannot introduce me to anything that is in itself essentially beautiful but that at its heart my Friend is sitting as King. You cannot bring me to anything that is worth having in the world of things, moral or mental, of music or literature, but that I find my Friend will lead me a little deeper and swing the door a little wider, and fling the horizon a little further back. All the world belongs to Him, and more than that. If it be true that there are many keys at His girdle and He is Lord of the world, then He is Lord of the heavens, and there are many diadems upon His realm of deity, my Friend is still on the throne. When this life of mine, chained for the moment to the things of time and sense, flings itself out to the infinite and eternal, I find that in the midst of the glory is my Friend, and heaven is already familiar ground to me, for my Friend has gone to prepare an abiding place for me, and He whispers in my heart as I tramp the dusty road, ‘Where I am there you may be also.’ My Friend is Lord and Master of Time and Eternity, of this world and the next.
– G. Campbell Morgan, My Friend, from The Westminster Pulpit, Volume 1, 121.
I forget my Friend often. I remember my Lord, i remember my Saviour, and i remember my King more often than i remember my Friend. I forget Him. I forget that He knows me. I forget that He identifies with me. I forget that “he himself has suffered when tempted,” and that, “he is able to help those who are being tempted,” (Hebrews 2:18). I forget that He is Emmanuel, He is with me. The idea of a friend, to me, necessitates one who can empathize and walk with you, one who is not simply over you or other than you, but one who is beside you and like you. And He is like us and at the same time different. But still, let us not forget that He is like us. He is human as well as divine. He has felt the unbelievably luring pull of sin. He knows what it is like to feel the seductive, siren call of destruction. He has been tempted to blood and tears. Yet, He is “without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15). It is much easier to remember the Lord, Saviour, and King aspects of Christ. It is harder for me to remember the Friend aspect, the one who sticks closer than a brother. I never had a biological brother. I had an imaginary friend once, but he was blue or some other weird color. I have had Christian brothers, those that know everything there is to know about me, those that mirror the love of Jesus to me with brightness and clarity. I love my Christian brothers. But there is a Friend that sticks closer to me than a brother. He is there when i choose hatred over love. He is present by my side when i do not love my wife as i should. He is there when i get frustrated with God, or frustrated at the person who pulled in front of me in traffic. He is there when the Spirit awakens in me passion for Truth and Gospel. He is there when i substitute His worship for worship of things, for worship of me. And He has promised never to leave me.
Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.
Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.
Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.
Jesus! what a Help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my Comfort, helps my soul.
Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.
Jesus! I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.
– J. Wilbur Chapman