I miss my Friend today. In thinking of the years we shared the name, Friend, so many memories flood my mind. Have you ever shared a relationship with someone for so long that you don’t even know when you became Friends? How do two people become Friends, anyway?
Our friendship began sometime in the late 70’s when we attended the same church. We were young, our children were of similar age, and somehow God orchestrated a way for us to connect. I don’t remember how we met, but it was the beginning of a relationship that would deepen and grow over the many, many years to follow.
While I cannot pinpoint the time our relationship began, I do know when it deepened and became even more than a friendship. Several families from our former church moved to Katy in the late 70’s and early 80’s. We began a couple’s bible study on Friday nights. Through that bible study, we shared life. Honest life. We became family. And like all families, we shared the good, the bad, and the ugly. As our lives changed and families grew, our bible study no longer met, and we didn’t see each other as often. We began attending different churches and God formed new friendships. But, we were still family.
On the joyous occasions when we would be together, through planning or by “accident”, the relationship, our friendship, was as if it hadn’t been interrupted by time and distance.
Isn’t that just like our relationship with the Lord? Sometimes we drift away, not spending time with Him, but then we purpose to be with Him…reading His Word, singing His praises, talking to Him. All at once, the distance we felt is erased and we are again in His presence. Other times the relationship is restored by “accident”; by a fleeting thought or when someone speaks something that draws us back to our Savior. Other times we may see something or someone who sparks the return to His arms. When we are with Him again we don’t dwell on the time apart, but we relish and savor the moments together.
That was like the relationship with my Friend. We didn’t dwell on the time apart; we just picked up where we left off, and caught up with one another’s lives.
As I think of the years of knowing my Friend, I’m reminded that it was a unique and special relationship because it was based on our mutual love for the Lord, and because of that, our love for one another.
· Prov. 17:17 “A friend loves at all times…”
· Prov. 27:10 “Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father…”
· Prov. 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”
· Ecc 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up…”
· Ps 119:63 “I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.”
· Jn 15:15 “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.”
Just as Jesus told his followers in John 15:15, “…everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you”, my Friend made known to those who knew her. Her life was a rich storehouse of time spent in intimate relationship with her Lord. Her well ran deep and overflowed to all who knew her. She was a woman of faith, power, depth, persistence, perseverance, dignity, acceptance, unconditional love, mercy, wisdom, knowledge and on and on. My life is richer because of our relationship. My walk with the Lord is deeper because of her influence.
I love you, Grace Marie Hopkins Laird. Thank you for the years of friendship we shared. I miss you, but know you are face-to-face with our Savior. O, the fullness of joy you are now experiencing! One day soon we will be together praising Him for all eternity. I cannot wait to join you, my Forever Friend!