From the Pastors' Desks

Old Friends

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One of the best benefits of getting older is the joy of having “old friends”. I often smile when I hear an earnest 19-year-old give a wedding toast to her friend whom she’s known “almost her whole life” – meaning the last 5 years. That’s a good and precious gift. But friendship, like a good marriage and fine wine, need the years to bring out the richest flavors. I met with an old friend this week; someone who has been in my life for the past 20 years. He’s an older brother to me, a man whom I respect greatly and have benefited from tremendously. He knows my ugliest warts and worst failures and still happily cares for and encourages me. He knows the Bible better than I do and has a gift for speaking the right word in the right moment.

             “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Prov 25:11)

 What a treasure the Lord has given to us in the smiling faces and concerned questions of old friends!

The reality is that the richness of our life is not measured by our income or good deeds – but by our relationships. Adam had everything he could desire in the Garden of Eden, and he lived in perfect obedience. But God said “not good” because Adam was not in relationship.  In some mysterious way, Adam could not enter into the full joy and glory of his imago Dei humanity without human relationship.

One of the things I’ve noticed is that women tend to be much better at developing deep friendships than men are. Many men, though very successful in their business life, are impoverished when it comes to deep, lasting friendships. This might be a uniquely American, “John Wayne” thing where masculinity is defined in terms of rugged individualism and stoic strength. Whatever the cause, we rob ourselves of so much joy when we fail to take the time for deep friendship.

There are two books I would highly recommend:

            The Company We Keep by Jonathan Holms (forward by Ed Welch)

            “True Friendship” by Vaughn Roberts 

Let me encourage you to focus this summer on friendship: making new friends, deepening your relationships with old friends. Let’s be rich in this precious gift of God.         

I’ll leave you with a song by Bill Gaither in celebration of “old friends” that goes like this.

Old friends, after all of these years just old friends,
through laughter and tears
old friends, what a find what a priceless treasure
old friends, like a rare piece of gold,
my old friends, make it great to grow old,
old friends, with all I will hold to old friends.

 

In His Service,

Pastor Dale Van Dyke

1 Comment

Thanks for another reminder of blessings we often take for granted. Just this morning a dear friend stopped in and we reminisced for a couple hours. What a blessing to be reminded how God blesses us.

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