“Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.”
Ever lost a true friend? You know the kind with whom you’ve shared intimate thoughts and feelings. Ones you’ve trusted. Ones who know you in and out and have been through the toughest and greatest of experiences. Ones who have helped shape you as a believer. I have. Through sin, through death, through selfishness. As I was thinking (really sulking) about the loss of a few good friends over the years, the soothing words of the song, “What a friend we have in Jesus” arose in my spirit. He calls us friends (John 15:15). He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He is will never leave or forsake (Hebrews 13:5). He loves us unconditionally.
Jesus knows how to bind the wounds of being forsaken. He is the healer of our souls. Those He loved abandoned Him in His greatest moments of need, even falling asleep twice when He needed their prayers. Where were they when He hung dying on the cross? David knew this painful loss of friendship as well and wrote about it in Psalm 55, “For it is not an enemy who taunts me – then I could bear it. It is not an adversary who deals insolently with me – then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng” vv. 12-14). It was a “familiar friend” who hurt David, not “an adversary”. He could bear an enemy…but a friend?!
Sometimes the wounds of a friend hurt worse than that of an enemy. Jesus was despised and rejected, being fully acquainted with sorrow and grief (Isaiah 53:3). That’s how He can be the best of friends. The intimate fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14) is what we all need the most, especially in times of loss.
Loss of true friends can cause you to withhold trust of future friendships. But don’t let it as that’s Satans deception and scheme of robbing you of future deep friendships. Don’t withhold kindness from a friend as Job 6:14 says. Trust the Lord to help you trust again. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Welcome and seek new friendships. Repair old ones if they desire, pursing peace as much as it depends on you (Romans 12:18). Sometimes, you have to just move forward. Sometimes, the Lord can resurrect a friendship. Either way, rest in the solace that Jesus alone can satisfy your soul.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.