Need a friend?

If we feel bereft of friends, alone and uncared for, it's good to remember we have one sure friend. It's the same one Abraham had.

In James we read that Abraham ''was called the Friend of God.'' n1 Why was he God's friend? Wasn't it because he trusted in God and followed His guidance? While we wouldn't want to rely blindly on human friends this way, we can always trust God's unerring direction.

n1 James 2:23.

Certainly God isn't a mortal person, visible to the physical senses. He is supreme, incorporeal Love, eternally beholding us as He created us, spiritual and perfect, in His image. Yet we can still think of Him as a friend. He never moves away or turns against us. Where human friends may misunderstand us or feel hurt, God remains eternal Love.

It is interesting to note that no matter how far people in the Bible strayed, God was there when they turned back to Him. He is always at hand - night or day - ''a very present help in trouble.'' n2 Our human friends may seem to come and go, but nothing can separate us from God, and because of this we can never truly be friendless.

n2 Psalms 46:1.

To have enriching and satisfying friendships is a legitimate need, and we can look to God to care for that need. There may, however, be times when we are alone and miss someone to talk to. Maybe we feel a strong desire for advice or counsel from someone. The Bible tells us, ''The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.'' n3 This same God speaks to us, when we are listening, ''as a man speaketh unto his friend.'' God's thoughts guide and comfort us.

n3 Exodus 33:11.

We can turn to God just as our Way-shower, Christ Jesus, did. When Jesus found himself alone and friendless - in Gethsemane, for example, just before his crucifixion - he turned to God in prayer as his beloved Father. He sought and received God's direction and support.

When we turn to God for guidance today, our eternal friend is still willing and able to direct us. We find the same caring and love that guided Abraham in his search for a new homeland; that led Moses and his followers through the wilderness; and that supported Jesus in his mission.

This does not mean, of course, that we shouldn't bother to make friends. Quite the contrary. Friendship is a wonderful manifestation of God's love for man.

What are the qualities we look for in a comrade? Aren't some of them faithfulness, love, honesty, unselfishness? These are all God-derived qualities. As we come to feel closer to God through prayer and through following Jesus' example in thought and life, we will begin to look for and recognize more of these qualities in our fellowman. And, in turn, we will have more enriching friendships. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in her autobiography, Retrospection and Introspection, ''There are no greater miracles known to earth than perfection and an unbroken friendship.'' n4

n4 Ret., p. 80.

If we're not experiencing the miracle of ''unbroken friendship,'' we needn't be dismayed. We always have one true friend, and as we seek Him, trust in Him, and learn more of His goodness and love for us, we'll become more aware of that love in our daily lives; we'll see it expressed more by those around us. And they may also become our friends. DAILY BIBLE VERSE O my God, I trust in thee. Psalms 25:2

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