Looking ahead at next week’s calendar, Monday (June 8) is “Best Friends Day.”

I started thinking about friendship, and what really makes a best friend. The more I thought about it, the more I decided that for me, a best friend is someone I can depend on, someone who is always near by in spirit if not in the flesh.

When I have reason to celebrate, they are rejoicing with me, sharing in my happiness, whatever the occasion might be.

When I have reason to cry, whether from a plan gone awry or the loss of a loved one, they are there to offer support and words of comfort to help ease the pain

When I am facing a battle – and we all face battles of one sort or another every day – my best friends are there to help me fight the battle. Most of the time what is needed is an encouraging word, a promise of prayer. Sometimes it is just having that friend nearby when we need someone to listen. And sometimes, when we get so tired we think we can’t take another step, we need someone to hold us up, just as Moses needed Aaron and Hur when his arms grew weary during the battle.

Best friends don’t smother us with their thoughts and ideas, but they are always there when we need them.

With those thoughts in mind, I am blessed to have several people that I consider to be my best friend.

I lost my best “girl friend” last month when my mom passed into eternity. All my life she was there when I needed her. But she was there when I thought I didn’t need her, too. Not only did she help me fight battles when they came my way, she fought many of the battles for me. We shared many, many happy times together, and we also got through the tough times together.

I am blessed to have my best “boy friend” at my side. For the past 23 years my husband has encouraged and supported all my plans and goals, even the ones that to many might seem silly. He knows how to comfort, but he also knows how to say “straighten up” when self-pity threatens to move in. We work together, we cry together, we laugh together, we pray together and sometimes we just enjoy being quiet but together.

There are others that have touched and continue to touch my life in such a way that I consider them to be among my best friends – Bishop and Sister Jeffries, Sister Pam, Bishop and Sister Toney, Sister Connie, the late Bishop Neeley, Toni, Kaye, Joy, Randy, my sisters – to name a few. When I call, they always answer.

Of course, my very best friend is the Lord Jesus Christ. I have learned that without him I am nothing, and with him I can get through all things. He gives comfort, peace and hope when the world says there is none. And I believe he has sent all these other friends into my life, because he knew what a blessing they could and would be.

When Best Friend Day gets here next Monday, take a few minutes and let your best friends know you are thinking of them, after you have taken some time to thank the Lord for bringing each one of them into your life.

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Thought for the week — Friendship is a promise made in the heart.

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