Whenever we take vacations with the family near the beach, my brother-in-law brings his boat and offers us a ride. While we were out one day, dark and ominous clouds suddenly formed in the sky above us. We wouldn’t have time to make it back to the boat ramp, so instead, we docked at a nearby waterfront restaurant. We waited safely indoors while the storm passed. This was our shelter from the storm. This is exactly what God says our friends should be. In Sirach 6:14, we hear, “Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter. Whoever finds one finds a treasure.” Are you a shelter for your friends?
Facebook, in a way, has redefined what a friend is. The social media giant even coined a new phrase– unfriending, which can be done with the click of a mouse. In terms of social media, a friend is someone we “keep up with” online. We know where they traveled or what restaurants they like-maybe who they voted for. But is that the extent of our friendship? If so, we might be missing out on a wonderful treasure.
In my life, I have one or two friends that would be my shelter in a storm. I wish I had more. But this type of friend can be as hard to find as gold or silver. If we take the time to be a true friend with someone who has earned our trust, we might strike it rich! And- If we take the time to be friends with Jesus, He will be our rock and our refuge- now and always. As St. Teresa of Avila said, “Prayer is nothing else than a close sharing between friends. It means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.”