Closer Than A Brother

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is 
my helper; I will not be afraid. What 
can mere mortals do to me?” 
Hebrews 13:6

There’s been a number of times in my life when I felt all alone.  In high school the neighbor girl who I had been friends with since I was in fourth grade rejected me.  The kids I hung out with at school always treated me as an outsider, never inviting me over to game nights and other fun group activities.  I wasn’t a nerd, athlete, druggie, ASB, drama, or whatever type person we think of when we remember our high school years.  I was friendly with people in all groups but never a part of a group.

I could’ve really used Jesus.

I was listening to a great podcast recently called, “Talk It Out.”  It’s an offshoot of the Joyce Meyer Ministry where three women of various stages of life take Mrs. Meyer’s teachings and work on applying it to their everyday lives.  On that day they were talking about different times they’d felt alone.  And I realized that probably every single one of us have felt that way at some point or multiple points in our lives.  Some of you might feel that way right now.

One of the ladies spoke of when, in high school, she kept Jesus close to her at all times.  Her only true friend.  She would even talk to Him in the car as though He were a constant companion in her passenger seat.

One who has unreliable friends soon 
comes to ruin, but there is a friend 
who sticks closer than a brother. 
Proverbs 18:24

I can’t tell you with 100% accuracy that this proverb speaks of God.  But I can tell you that God is 100% that friend who is “closer than a brother.”  And when we feel alone and as though our faith journey is stuck, we need only turn to Jesus and say, “Hello.”  If you are in a season that you feel alone, left out, far from any quality friendships – including God– it’s time to call to Him with all your heart.

It reminds me of when Mary, having seen the empty tomb, stands outside crying.  She must’ve felt very alone at the time.  When Jesus appears to her, she thinks He is the gardener and demands to know where he moved the body.  And Jesus simply says to her, “Mary.”  She turns to Him and suddenly recognizes Him and grabs hold of Him, crying out “Rabboni!”  My favorite part of this is the fact the text is written like this in the NIV and King James version – “Mary.” No exclamation.  He doesn’t yell out to her.  It feels so quiet and gentle and personal.  “Mary.”  

Now imagine yourself standing there thinking God has let you down.  He’s allowed the worst thing that could ever happen to actually happen.  And you cry out.  He responds.  Standing right in front of you with a gentle, loving word.

Instead of saying with proud lip, “Well, if He leaves me I must do without Him, if I cannot have His comfortable presence I must fight on as best may be,” the soul says, “No, it is my very life, I must have my God.”

Charles Spurgeon

And with that renewed friendship we can add to our request of God, “Help me to find reliable friendships here on earth.”  He may convict of you of your own sins or thinking.  Rest assured when you sit with Him over coffee, while on your commute, or at a quiet lunch at the park, He will be the most honest friend you could ever desire.

The righteous choose their friends 
carefully, but the way of the wicked 
leads them astray. 
Proverbs 12:26

For me, I needed Jesus for a friend in high school as a companion – I was an oddball, a square peg and all the holes were round.  And later, I needed Jesus as that friend who would speak truth into me to show me why I didn’t have close friends, why I’d been rejected so often.  He showed me that my need to control the people around me was not a desirable attribute in a friend.  I was quick to anger and judgement.  And selfish ways pushed people away.

Sometimes when I think about what our lives are like today, I like to imagine what it would’ve been like living as a pioneer woman.  Living a lonely life with just my husband and two kids out on the prairie.  No texting, no Instagram.  Barely any mail even.  Where would I find friendship?  In my days of harvesting and cooking and cleaning I would need to seek out the only person my Bible told me would be with me always – Jesus.

That was true then and it’s still true today.  Friends we had 10 years ago may not even be part of our lives.  Friends we meet today may fade away.  So, it’s imperative we hold close to our hearts our one constant, our friend, our counselor, our Rock – our Lord.

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