I truly believe that God brings friends into our lives for a season and for a reason. With some friends, the season is longer. I have a few such friends; those that were there when I was 7 or 16 and are still friends today. We aren't as tight as we once had been - I don't rush to the phone to tell them what exciting thing just happened or who broke my heart. But they knew who I was and remind me where I came from and still they are my friend.
Then there are those friends who God brings in for a season - maybe just a few years, maybe less. These friends don't mean any less to me just because the friendship is short. He knew I needed that person at that time.
Regardless of the time these people have been my friends, obstacles have come our way and from time to time, and my focus wasn't always on nurturing those relationships.
No matter what the season or the reason, friends can make us laugh or cause us tears. They can lift us up or break our hearts. A true friend, though, shows loyalty and love, even if it seems crazy to others. One of the greatest examples of that kind of loyalty and love was found in my Bible Study this morning in 1 Samuel 18:1-4. Jonathon was the son of the king (Saul), who I am sure most assumed would be the next king. As we know, God had already chosen David to succeed Saul. Rather than be bitter and resent David, he became his friend.
(1, 3-4) After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
Jonathon made a covenant with David. The Complete Word Study Old Testament book defines a covenant as a "treaty, alliance of friendship, a pledge, an obligation between a monarch and his subjects, a constitution. It was a contract which was accompanied by signs, sacrifices, and a solemn oath which sealed the relationship with promises of blessing for obedience and curses for disobedience."
Jonathon's sign and sacrifice were given as Jonathon removed his royal robe and tunic and gave them to David. He gave to David what was rightfully his, per the king's wishes, but clearly Jonathon wanted to follow God's will. He offered them as a sign of his covenant, but also as a sacrifice of what could have been for the fulfillment of what should be.
Jonathon also provided a solemn oath. We don't know what his words were, but I find it highly unlikely that Jonathon handed over all his princely items, including his sword, bow, and belt and then had nothing to say.
What an amazing example of friendship. One person sees God's will in another's life and humbly sets himself aside for the good of the other. I can only hope to start acting as Jonathon did - to be humbly loyal to and love each of my friends so that God's will can be done in their lives.
As time ticks down for another change in one of my friendships, I wait with bated breath to see all God has planned for her and for me. It breaks my heart to know this change is coming, yet I know it is in God's will. So, I will do my best to be loyal and to show love to her and all my friends. And I will wait to see if God has plans to bring a new friend into my life or reinforce one of my current friendships, not to replace a friendship, but to fill the void of one that is changing.