August 30, 2022
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15, NIV).
Today was one of those incredibly time-pressured days. I had to send two of my patients to the emergency room, and I had to accompany one of them. Patient after patient, followed by meeting after meeting, with interruption after interruption. (I bet I’m the only doctor who’s ever had a day like that.) Late this afternoon, a friend called me with an out-of-the-way request to pick him up from the library, three miles from his home. He just couldn’t make it back on his weakened legs. It would mean an hour added to my day. I screamed silently but helped him out, for he is my friend.
In The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne wrote, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
I would say, “How lucky am I to have a friend worth prolonging the duties of my day.”
I think I am like many healthcare professionals in that I have very few close friends; instead, my time is filled with the patients I love and a family to whom I am devoted.
And still, I know that friends are right, and good.
A close friend makes me a better person, more like the one God needs to build His kingdom.
Friends bring us joy as we share experiences that lift us up.
Friends provide help in times of need.
Friends provide pathways for service when they are the ones in need.
Friends advise with an understanding and perspective that we know desires our good.
Friends hold us accountable when we turn down dangerous roads.
Godly friends add power to our communion with the Father as we pray and consider God’s word together.
If these assumptions are true, I need intentionally to incorporate Godly friendships in my life, both for my own joy and for better service to my King.
What will I plan this week with a friend?
You have called me friend. Let me be deliberate about friendship and intentional about time with friends, for your glory and my joy.
Thanks, As always, a wise and encouraging word. In 2003, on furlough, I was invited to join 4 men mtg for their routine Tuesday morning breakfast fellowship. I shared my longing for godly like-minded male friendship, so hard to find as a lone mission doc, busy hospital, transient ‘home’ visits to the US… The logger serving the eggs simply took it to heart. Visited S Sudan twice; constant emails and shared devotionals; ‘let’s go fishing’ when I passed tbrough the US. I am amazed how his long commitment to friendship, mostly one-sided, has grown into such a bond, and a great blessing for both of us and our families. He is my Barnabas. I honored him at his 80th birthday gathering this week, and pray that I might learn to be more like him, in his humble servanthood. God be with you!
This is a great comment! It’s true, I have a volunteer who helps at our healing center, who is just as faithful. She is always giving, and honestly during Covid. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. When we serve others all the time, what a blessing it is, when someone comes alongside us!