“And Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel.” (2 Kings 2:2)
In every aspect of our lives, we are engaged in friendships on multiple levels.
We are cautioned to avoid “friendship with the world” (James 4:4). We are encouraged to choose well those with whom we associate because they can help us to grow, mature and become more Christlike, thus helping us on our journey to be prepared for eternity!
I’m not sure we always appreciate the value and the place of each friendship we are introduced to! If we are not careful, if we are living life way too fast, we can pass right by someone who can really make a difference in our lives!
Jewelry stores are beautiful and expensive places to walk into. Everything is so sparkly and shiny, displayed in such a way as to catch one’s eyes. Unless you already have your mind made up on what you are looking for, it can prove to be a daunting experience.
Looking at all the precious stones, their shape, beauty and quality, we find ourselves having to narrow down the search before purchasing or simply walking out to find yet another store to walk into.
Friends are like those precious stones that we have already considered, thought about deeply and made them our own. Each stone in the jewelry box at home bears its own unique marks and appearance. Granted we might can find ourselves appreciating and liking one particular set or individual piece … but we are happy to open the lid and see them as ours.
It has been said that true and lasting friendship is rare … and that is an accurate statement, isn’t it? There are those who are friends … and then there are those who are friends in a much deeper sense.
What a blessing it is to have both categories of friends and friendships. Yet, we understand the deeper we are able to go with our friendship based on trust and loyalty … the stronger the bond, respect and mutual love! I thank my God for every one of those who are my friends!
We know the difference don’t we. The kind of friend that is mindful of our needs … who is careful to speak truth in a way that builds us up rather than tearing us down … who is willing to listen to our words with attention … and who genuinely has our best interest at heart!
I want to be a friend like Elisha was to Elijah. Elijah was about to leave this world, borne up in a chariot of fire pulled by horses of fire, and Elisha would accept the mantel and become a great prophet in his own right.
I am convinced that one of the qualities that would set him apart from others was his ability to be loyal and trustworthy, and to genuinely care about Elijah. Don’t we all long for this kind of friendship where we can be honest with one another, even bare our souls and express our doubts and concerns with confidence in the one who hears our words?
Well guess what? We can, if we are willing to invest in the lives of others! It has often been said that “we can’t change people’s hearts until they know we genuinely care!” I want to be like Elisha and I am mindful of those times and occasions when I didn’t measure up to who I needed to be, and I am sorry!
We cannot afford to forget this truth: To have one as our friend means we must step up to the plate and be a friend for them as well. It is truly a two-way street!
Friendship is a relationship that is entered into by individuals. Each friendship is only as good or as close as those individuals decide to commit to make it! May we never become guilty of taking a valued friendship for granted! Life is just too short!
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from their earnest counsel.” (Proverbs 27:9)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.