Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Importance of Friends

Tomorrow night as we continue our study of David, we will be looking at the importance of friends. After Bathsheba-gate, David's life began to cave in. His son, Absalom, attempts a hostile takeover. David leaves Jerusalem in disgrace. But on his way, he is met by a number of friends who vow allegiance to him. It must have been like soothing ointment to his hurts.

It has caused me to reflect on what happened in my own life last year. There was such a feeling of loneliness. As I shared the news with my preacher friends, they disappeared as if I had leprosy or some disease that they thought they might catch. But I know, when we went to the ACU lectures last February, how good it felt to have one of my preaching mentors hardly leave my side.

And our family! My goodness! Our kids surrounded us like parents normally would their children. I have no doubt that they would shed blood for us. Their calls and letters and prayers lifted our wings. The gift they gave us last Christmas -- to take US on vacation -- was overwhelming!

Back here at home, very few from the church called. But there were exceptions, like John and Linda Francis -- who, through very special acts of kindness, helped us to heal. And our prayer group of Tommy and Jennifer Maddox, Scott and Tonia Beard and Steve and Sandy Morris prayed with us and cried with us and held us up. Really special friends.

Then it wasn't long until new friends came into our lives. Guys I haven't known long, but feel like I've known forever. As David had his mighty men, I feel the same about these guys. Jeff Jones, David Isham, Jacob Baker, Robert Isham -- just to single out a few. These guys, I have no doubt, would go the distance for me.

Then there is Beverly. Wow! Her pain was as great (if not more so) than mine. But just as always, she was my rock -- my constant encourager.

What a blessed man I am! Sometimes it takes difficult times to show us just how blessed we are. David learned that. And so have I.


Josh Ross said...

You're right about the Ross clan shedding blood for each other. Mess with one of us, and you will have the other 8 at your door the next day.
I praise God for the journey of healing. It continues today. God is with us.

jenny biz said...

God has been so good with the gift of the friends in Decatur! Glad to walk this life journey with you!

Beverly Ross said...

God has been so good to us! Haven't our kids been totally amazing through this last year and a half. I LOVE having young adult children that are our 'bestest' friends! I am delighted with our brand new friends in Decatur! How blessed we are!

Jeff said...

I'm so thankful to be knowing you better and even more thankful that God paved the way for you and Beverly to be in Decatur. I don't know why we must sometimes go through pain to find happiness but I remain steadfast in my confidence that God used past situations in your life and in the life of this church to do something really, really awesome. I see the beginnings of His blessings already.