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Your Best Friend

March 13, 2015 No Comment

by Paul Zabel

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Rev. Paul Zabel

Rev. Paul Zabel

Have you seen or heard one of those commercials currently being played both on television and on the radio in which the same rather hard-hearted and cold comment is repeated three times regarding some individual who is facing some difficulty, hardship or anxiety? Finally, following the three rather blunt statements a more compassionate and caring statement is suggested as a possible way to befriend the one who is in need.

There is nothing quite so discouraging as being lonely and downhearted and not having a friend with whom we are able to share our ups and downs. Particularly at this time of year, it seems, discouragement and perhaps even feelings of despair or gloominess become a little more prevalent in all of us. The celebration of our Lord’s birth at Christmas within our churches and within our faith life has come and gone. Even though the period of sunlight for each day is slowly increasing, our winter and the cold weather appear as if they will never end. Once again we have settled back into regular routines and ways of doing things. Problems and anxieties in church life and personal life that were perhaps set aside for a time resurface. Life just seems a little bit emptier when the friends and relatives with whom we visited a number of weeks ago return to their own lives.

Once there was a young woman who returned to her studies at university following Christmas break. Shortly thereafter, she phoned her mother in desperation and said: “I feel so all alone now that I have returned to school. What shall I do?” Without hesitation her mother replied: “Make some good friends at once!”

One of the things everyone admired about Jesus when He walked here upon this earth was His friendliness. He had a kind word for the little children who were playing in the street. He would stop and talk to the merchants along the highways and He had a smile of encouragement for the sick and down-hearted. The Master was a friend of all men, willing to share happiness and love wherever He went. He is the same today.

The Master was a friend of all men, willing to share happiness and love wherever He went. He is the same today.

There is a story of a boy who helped change a whole day for everyone in his family. It was one of those mornings that happen so often in every house. Dad was late for work. The boy’s older brothers and sisters were in a hurry to get off to school, and Mom also had a hectic day ahead of her. Everybody quickly sat down to the breakfast table and started to eat… that is, everybody but little Timmy. He just sat silently there for a moment. Then with a rather worried expression on his face he turned and said, “Mom, we forgot Jesus!” The family had always said grace, but in the hurry they had forgotten.

Never forget your best Friend. He is the One who loves you so much that He suffered and died and rose again that you might live your life to the fullest – both here in time and hereafter in eternity! He is the one who can cheer you up and give your life new meaning!


Rev. Paul Zabel is President of the East District of Lutheran Church–Canada.

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