Proverbs 18:24, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”
Ecclesiastes 4:12, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken”
Once upon a time the colors of the world started to quarrel. All claimed that they were the best. The most important. The most useful. The favorite.
“Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees and leaves. Without me, all animals would die. Look over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority.”
“You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing.”
“You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, and the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun.”
Orange started next to blow her trumpet:
“I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious, for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes and papayas. I don’t hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.”
Red could stand it no longer. He shouted out:
“I am the ruler of all of you. I am blood – life’s blood! I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire into the blood. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the color of passion and of love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy.”
Purple rose up to his full height. He was very tall and spoke with great pomp:
“I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs and bishops have always chosen me, for I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me! They listen and obey.”
Finally Indigo spoke, much more quietly than all the others, but with just as much determination:
“Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace.”
And so the colors went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightening. Thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.
In the midst of the clamor, rain began to speak:
“You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don’t you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me.”
Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands.
The rain continued:
“From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of color as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The Rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow.”
And so, whenever a good rain washes the world, and a Rainbow appears in the sky, let us remember to appreciate one another.
– Author Unknown –
We are designed for companionship. We do not function well as loners. I have seen firsthand of an old high school friend who became an unhappy recluse. I also know of a man who became angry with his church board, stopped attending services, and rejected all who tried to reach out to him. He said he needed no one except God. Yet, he was a miserable old man who cried and cried when he became terminally ill.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 4, verse 8, we read about a lonely person who devoted all his energy to the pursuit of wealth. He didn’t have time for friends or family. He worked very hard, yet his wealth didn’t satisfy the void in his life. After depicting the lonely man, the author of Ecclesiastes illustrated the advantages of fellowship and partnership (vv. 9-12). He did so by:
(1) Referring to the value and productivity of two laboring together (v. 9),
(2) Of one helping the other when one falls (v. 10),
(3) Of two keeping each other warm on cold nights (v. 11), and
(4) Of two protecting each other when attacked (v. 12).
The closing example, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken,” was a proverbial way of saying “there is strength in numbers.” God has designed each of us with a need for one another. So be sure to have friends, and be a friend. That’s the only way to fulfill God’s design for companionship.
My beloved, a friend is one in whose presence we can be ourselves without the fear of being misunderstood. That person will not talk behind our back but is one to whom we can bare the secrets of our heart, knowing that we will not be betrayed. Such a friend is Jesus, the One who perfectly fulfills Solomon’s words, “A friend loves at all times” (Proverbs 17:17)
The time to make friends is before you need them.