“There Is A Friend!”
I. The Availability of this Friend
Our text states that “There is a friend…” and implies that this friend is available to all those who look for a friend who goes beyond even the closeness of a biological connection. There is only one person who fits this profile and his name is Jesus!
a. Our nature directs us to this friend.
When God created us in His image one of the things that He did in making us like Him is to give us a desire for relationships. God is a relational being and He placed that same quality in us. We see this in the Trinity and in God’s relationship with Adam. And it is especially true when you consider why God created Eve.
Genesis 2:18 “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
We are intended by God to have relationships and friends are one of the relationships that He intended for us to have.
b. Our needs demand that we find such a friend.
Several years ago on PBS there was a Library of Congress series. The program featured the National Archives and they were going to open sealed drawers in which had been deposited the evidence of famous crimes. Very dramatically they opened a drawer that had in it a sealed plastic bag with the effects of Abraham Lincoln from the night he was assassinated in Ford’s Theater, April 9, 1865. He was watching a presentation of “Our American Cousin,” when from the rear of the Presidential Box he was shot by the best-known actor of that day, John Wilkes Booth. Booth jumped from the box onto the stage but ironically his boot spur got caught in the American flag draped in the front of the box. This caused him to fall onto the stage breaking his leg. What he said when he limped to center stage gives you an understanding of that time. He said, Sic se per tyrannis (Thus always to tyrants), the motto of Virginia. They put the box on top of the cabinet and opened the plastic container. It had not been opened since the trial of the assassins. They pulled out some keys, a handkerchief, a little pen knife, and a piece of paper all folded up and as the program went on they unfolded that paper. Remember it was being unfolded for the first time since the trial, on May 10, 1865. It was a newspaper clipping. And as they looked closer it was discovered that this was a newspaper clipping that was about Abraham Lincoln. As the commentator read the article it was discovered that Lincoln had underlined with a pencil the positive comments that were made about him. It was commented that he had read that paper and then cut it out with his penknife and stuck it in his pocket to read. Also, from the age of the paper it looked as if Lincoln had carried this article in his pocket for some time. Many people do not know what Abraham Lincoln went through during his presidency. First of all he was elected by only a 40% popular vote and then he had to virtually turn the presidency into a dictator ship for the first four years of his presidency to keep the country together. He had many enemies and he was looking for friends. You would have thought that this dearest of all our presidents and the most integral to the thriving nation of America today would not have had a problem getting encouragement. Can you see Abraham Lincoln pulling out this little article and glancing at it from time to time to gain encouragement?
There is an old story told about a little girl who had been passed from one orphanage to another. She was very shy and felt rather unattractive. The other children would not play with her and her teachers considered her to be a problem child. In this particular orphanage there was a rule that all outside correspondence had to be screened by the staff. One day the director of the orphanage happened to see the little girl carrying a letter toward the wall that surrounded the institution. She climbed a tree near the wall and hung the envelope on a branch that could be reached from the other side. The director went outside the gates, took down the letter, and opened it. It simply read, "From Susan. To whomever finds this letter, I love you."
The most heavily used service provided on campus at Harvard University and others like it are the offices of psychiatric services and according to Los Angeles psychiatrist, Dr. Leonard Zunin, despite the fact that the average American meets as many people in one year as their ancestors met in a life time 100 years ago, loneliness is the main problem facing Americans today. Everyone needs friendships.