There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. - Proverbs 18:24b (NKJV)
Do you have a good friend, maybe a best friend? A friend that sticks around and helps you when you need it. Stella has a friend like that. Her name is Bernadette Henderson.
One day Bernadette found her best friend Stella Peterson sitting on a swing at the park and she was crying. When Bernadette went over to see what was wrong with her best friend, Stella yelled at her “GO AWAY AND LEAVE ME ALONE!!!” “Do you really want your best friend to leave?” Bernadette asked in reply.
“I have no friends, my life is ruined and I don’t want to talk about it,” Stella yelled, and started crying even harder. “Your life is ruined?”questioned Bernadette, “Has your brother Harold been spreading nasty rumors about you again?” “It’s worse than that,” replied Stella, “Basketball season is over.”
Bernadette became confused, as she often is. She knew Stella didn’t like sports, especially basketball. “What are you talking about?” she had to ask. Stella than told her what was really wrong. She was crying because she wouldn’t get to see all those cute boys that played basketball. That’s why she thought her life was ruined.
Bernadette decided her friend needed some encouragement and reminded her that basketball season would come back next year. When Stella told her that, that was too far away, she started telling her all about baseball, football, and hockey and that they are played by boys too. When she heard that, Stella stopped crying and asked if the boys were cute.
Even though Bernadette didn’t know if the boys were cute or not, Stella was happy to have her as a friend. “My life isn’t ruined,” Stella said, “You’ve filled my life with hope.” “I’ll always be your friend,” Bernadette replied, “just like in our memory verse.” “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother named Harold. Pv 18:24," Stella thought to herself.
As they headed off to find a baseball game they started trying to figure out if the game was played by throwing a ball into a net or if the players had to try and kick a puck over it. I thought they had to skate around some bases.
While Proverbs 18:24 doesn’t really say anything about Harold, it does say there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (NKJV) Even though Stella told Bernadette to go away and leave her alone, Bernadette saw Stella needed help and stuck around and encouraged her when she thought her life was ruined unlike some other guys I know of.
Friends are great to have. Solomon recognized this when he wrote Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help. If two lie down together, they will be warm, but a person alone will not be warm. An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves; a rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break. (NCV)
Along with having friends we are friends and as a friend one of the things we do is comfort our friends such as Job's friends tried to do for him. Now when Job's three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they came each one from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite; and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him. - Job 2:11 (NAS) Unfortiontly, Job's firends didn't do a very good job of comforting Job for after listening to them ramble on he called them "miserable comforters" in Job 16:2
Stella was discouraged because she thought she lost something she enjoyed and even thought she wanted to be left alone in her misery, Bernadette new she needed a friend to encourage and comfort her. In the book of Thessalonians Paul reminds to be people who encourage and build up, people that comfort others.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11-14 - Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing. Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are lazy, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (HCSB)
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. We share in the many sufferings of Christ. In the same way, much comfort comes to us through Christ. If we have troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation, and if we have comfort, you also have comfort. This helps you to accept patiently the same sufferings we have. Our hope for you is strong, knowing that you share in our sufferings and also in the comfort we receive. (NCV)
Here's Something to Ponder
- What are some times you've needed comfort and received it?
- Who around you is in need of your comforting help?
- Are you willing to comfort those who are in need of comfort?