A friend once said:
"Friendship is like a rose, you have to go through some thorns to get to the beauty of it".
How true that is; especially with "close friends". You know the ones:
The ones you can call any time--no matter the time--and they'll be ready to listen or help any way they are able.
The ones you can disagree with, with tiny or great things and their opinion won't change on the friendship between the two of you.
The ones you can tell about your beliefs and it won't change the friendship either.
The ones you can talk to about your hurts and they'll sit and listen.
The ones that can talk about when you see one or the other doing something to make them "fall" and even though it's not wanted to be heard or like what is heard we'll still listen and take heed to the "warning" or reproof.
The ones that you can make mistakes with, whether it's done in words or actions, they'll love you the same.
Through it all, the mistakes can actually make the friendship stronger instead of no longer--IF it's true friendship, there's no pride in us over hurts or mistakes to the others or if we accept that they or us aren't perfect.
I'm sure that you can think of many other/more things that could be said about the relationship of close/true friends.
As I made this short list on friends, I can't help but think of my own relationship with my dear Lord as this short list "applies" with it as well as: How I may have to "go through some thorns to get to the beauty of it" and it just makes me stronger, grow more, learn more as well as make my relationship with Him even sweeter.
As we go from "Peak to Peak" as a recent guest speaker (Bro. Chris Chaney from Lighthouse Baptist Church in San Diego, CA) preached; it's when you go through those valleys to get to the next peak that makes a christian stronger and closer to the Lord" [paraphrasing what I've already "heard and learned" but the reminder to hear again is always a great encouragement that we should be blessed to have to go through the valleys]. Also he pointed out that as we go through the valley it may also be a time to help someone else going through the same "valley" and it ends up helping the two that is going through it together.
I remember the long ago best friend that said this (comparing friendship with the rose) how when she told me she was going through "?" just to find out, I was going through the same thing. How much easier it was to get through it when there was someone else going through the same thing and it had just made our friendship stronger. Too bad through the years, after we got separated because of our lives going in different directions, that it wouldn't be remembered that even though new (and much different) "thorns" came up that the beauty couldn't/wouldn't be remembered that was had in the past was still there.
Isn't it wonderful that God never does or will turn away no matter how often we may make mistakes, stray or want to turn away during the hard times. He is always faithful.
It was a wonderful message. It's posted on our church's website if you'd like to hear it for yourself. http://biblebaptistfairbanks.com/