Is life, today, complete without pain or sorrow? Do I see the whole picture without also glimpsing things unfair and sad?
In today’s world I have not found a life yet that is complete without all the negatives. As I read history the same is true. Even stories of the Divine have those elements in them. I can hope for tomorrow, however today and yesterday are full of soul pains.
Given this, is a friendship complete without participating in these moments? What does one say when a friend is out of work? How does one adequately respond when someone close to a friend dies? Is there a perfect answer when a relationship sours?
I do not believe there is anything that can be said in these situations that will make all things better. I do believe that a friend carries an obligation in each situation to be there, sitting together, struggling together, and walking together. The truth is that “the person who shuns the bitter moments of friends will be an outsider at their celebrations” (Proverbs 14.10), but I find that even this is not the prime motivator.
Friendship comes with a true desire to walk and journey with another. The desire is a combination of many variables, some known, and others well hidden. Unless we have a desire founded and tested by experience it will be difficult to anticipate the strength of the friendship.
There are those who think everything should always go smoothly. The bad news is that in our weakness there are times when we will find it difficult to deal with reality.
The awesome fact is that we have a God that knows each of us individually, personally, and is strong enough to walk with us at every moment. God does not promise a smooth path; he guarantees that life will be very difficult. God also promises that He will always be by our side, sharing good and the bad.
Friends struggle for completeness. God’s offer and our “yes” mark the end of one chain and the beginning of a new one.