Recently I had the words from an old Michael W. Smith song pop in my mind, “Friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them.” Truth is, I have come to appreciate the depth of the meaning of those lyrics, more now than before. Especially, as I was sitting here reflecting over this past weekend’s gathering of some old friends…
Just one more quick look around the room to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Our refrigerator was full, the house was clean, the beds had fresh sheets and quilts, and I was as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning. I couldn’t wait for everyone to arrive. Realizing everything was done, I decided there was just enough time to sit down for a cup of coffee before they showed up. How many times had we planned this? Now it was finally going to happen!
I must have dozed off, because the next thing I knew the doorbell was ringing. Startled from a sound sleep I jumped to my feet. An adrenaline rush hit as soon as I became aware the first of our friends had arrived. Seeing their faces peeking through the sidelight at the front door meant our long overdue gathering had officially begun.
Once the hugs were over, we quickly picked up our conversation as if we still lived a few roads over from one another. But what had it been—10 years or so since we lived in the same town? Many times over the last 3 few years we found ourselves planning these visits only to find we had to cancel because something came up, or someone was sick, so this time we all were so thankful it was finally happening.
Things got even more exciting when we heard the others pull up in the driveway. We had to repeat the scene all over again; more hugs, more catch-up. Now it was time to eat. And then, the scene really changed.
Standing in the middle of the room with heads bowed and hands held tightly, our group was solemn in prayer, but oh so preciously aware that we had made it. We not only had made it to our little reunion, but we were a group of weathered, yet sweetly blessed friends that God had brought into a unified circle. This bunch had traveled many a music playing, joy sharing, heartache ridden miles together. Yet, at the end of the prayer there was a harmonious amen. Our hearts were overflowing with gratitude and thanksgiving that gave praise to our Lord for gathering us all together again.
“Friends ARE friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them.” Truly, there is a joy that we share that comes from a God that transcends time and space. We have come to know the Good News, which is, that our God goes with us through the years, through the miles, through the peaks and through the valleys. He goes with US. He is the rock of our salvation and it is His presence that gives us cause for Thanksgiving.