“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in a time of need.”
– Proverbs 17:17
The value of true friendship is priceless. At the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, Japanese pole vaulters Shuhei Nishida and Sueo Oe tied for second place. The teammates were offered the opportunity to have a jump-off for the silver medal, but the two friends declined out of mutual respect for one another. For the purposes of Olympic records, Oe agreed to the bronze medal while Nishida took the silver. Upon their return to Japan, the teammates came up with a different solution. The pair had a jeweler cut their medals in half and fuse them back together, creating half-silver, half-bronze awards. The “Medals of Friendship”, as they’re known in Japan, are lasting symbols of friendship and teamwork.
Proverbs 17:17 reminds us that a true friend loves in adversity as well as in times of prosperity. One of the greatest possessions we can have is a friend who will stand by our side when we need them the most. It’s not hard to find the Lord Jesus in this verse. Well-known hymn writer Johnson Oatman once said, “There’s not an hour that He is not near us, no not one! No, not one! No night so dark, but His love can cheer us, no not one! No, not one!” Do you have a friend like that? Are YOU a friend like that?
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me friends that walk with me through the good times and the bad. Help me to understand that it is not enough to just have good friends, but that I must also be a great friend. Most of all Lord, I thank You for Your promise to always be near me! Amen.