Friends will be there when you need them


Several years ago, my wife and I scheduled a cruise out of New York bound for Canada, with stops in St. John Bay and Nova Scotia. Several of our friends were going on this cruise also. Some flew to New York City and some of us drove.

My wife and I chose to drive along with four of our friends and decided to go to Niagara Falls first. It was a great trip and we were staying on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls when I got a piece of prime rib stuck in my throat. It wasn’t a situation where I could not breathe, it was that I could not get the meat up or down and I couldn’t drink or swallow anything. Not knowing where to go or what to do, since I was in Canada, I sat up all night, along with my wife, waiting for morning so I could go to the VA Hospital in Buffalo, NY.

The next day we went to the VA Hospital and I was told it would be about an hour and I should be back to normal. Eight hours later I left the hospital in a sleepy daze and don’t remember much about the trip from Buffalo to New York City. I was reminded of some of my sayings and antics by my wife a few days later.

I did not know how long I had been in the hospital or what the doctors or nurses ever did to me. My wife was with me every step of the way and later told me all the details. She was a real trooper and friend and stayed with me till the end. Our other friends sat in the car for eight hours waiting on me. They didn’t leave the parking lot. They wouldn’t leave to go get lunch but snacked on the food we brought. They were and continue to be true friends.

This reminds me of the story we read in Luke 5:17-26 about the paraplegic that was lowered through the roof of a house by four of his friends so he could be laid before Jesus. We don’t know the reason the man was paralyzed but we do know that he wanted to see Jesus. Given his condition he depended on his friends to get him to Jesus, however, when they arrived at the house where Jesus was speaking, they couldn’t get through the crowd to see Jesus. They went above and beyond true friendship when they took him to the roof, dug a hole through the roof, and lowered their friend to the feet of Jesus.

Whatever the situation was, Jesus forgave the man of his sins and told him to take up his mat and walk away. The man left praising Jesus for his forgiveness. This was an example of true friendship by his companions. Not only were they helping their friend that could not move, but they were taking him to Jesus, where his sins were forgiven.

This is all anyone has to do is go to the feet of Jesus, repent of their sins, and ask Jesus to forgive them. My wife and friends who stayed with me during my episode in New York not only displayed true friendship but stayed with me until I was out of danger. All of us knew Jesus personally and praised Him for His guidance and leadership. He truly blessed us during that time and our eyes are fixed on Him and we praise Him daily.


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