“Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family” (Proverbs 18:24). (The Message)
It was unseasonably hot here in South Texas but my husband and I braved the high nineties temperature to play a round of golf at our favorite course. An old church friend’s home is on the course, so every time I pass by the back of her house, I think of her. Over the past five years, we had drifted apart. We both changed churches so I didn’t see her anymore. However, I still miss her and had reached out to her recently on Facebook, but received no response.
So when I passed by her house, I was curious about how she was doing and tried to check out her Facebook page to see what she was up to. But she wasn’t there. Was she no longer on Facebook? I thought that was unlikely, so I came to the painful realization that not only had I been unfriended, but apparently, I’d been blocked, because I couldn’t find her at all when I searched.
Wasn’t this a friend who I’d had so much in common with? Didn’t I pray over her new house and celebrate many milestones with her? I texted a mutual friend and asked, “Is she still on Facebook?” She responded, “She unfriended me a long time ago.”
While I love Facebook because it allows me to keep up with so many people, this is the part about Facebook I don’t like. You often find out who your true friends are, and when “unfriended,” the rejection stings.
But what I’ve also determined is that the old saying, “Friends for a reason, friends for a season, friends for life” rings true. The Bible says it this way, “Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family” (Proverbs 18:24).
Unfortunately, I spent the rest of the round, less focused on golf and more focused on why this might have happened. Did I do something wrong? Was she offended by too many religious posts? Why wouldn’t she want to remain connected in this harmless way?
I determined that for whatever reason, God allowed this to happen, and she was a “friend for a season.”
Have you lost friends over the years? Trust God when he moves people in and out of your life. He knows who needs to come alongside you during this season. While friends may choose to disengage, our call as Christians is to still love them as Jesus loved, who said “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Despite the rejection, I still love this friend and harbor no ill will against her. If I ever run into her again, I will give her a warm hug.
We have to remember human love is imperfect. People will let us down. It is a fact of life. There is only one perfect friend and that is Jesus who says, “You are my friend if you do what I command” (John 15:14).
Today, tell your “friends for life” how thankful you are for them, and most importantly, thank Jesus for his friendship. He’s there with us through the good times and the bad, through thick and thin. He’s on call 24/7. Jesus loved us so much that he laid his life down for us, so that one day we will meet him face-to-face, and can tell him how grateful we are for his eternal love, in person.