I wish I could claim credit for this idea. I can’t. It came from talking to a friend of mine and I wish to expound on it. I’d like to thank this friend of mine though for being with me through a lot of hard times and being a companion by my side. At a point in my life when I was facing a sudden burst of fear and thought I’d have an anxiety attack like in the past, he was there. He’s a great guy and I’m pleased what I write is true of him.
But he was telling me about visiting someone’s house and how that person had passed away and how it was bittersweet. Then he said it occurred to him that those kinds of friends are friends forever if they’re Christians. The relationships aren’t temporary. They’re just put on hold for a time. As the song says, “Friends are friends forever, if the Lord’s the Lord of them.”
Paul said that we don’t mourn like those who have no hope. Indeed, we do mourn. In fact, it is entirely proper for us to mourn. The Christian life is not one where you try perpetually to live on Cloud Nine. There are ups an downs for everyone and the loss of a friend is a great down.
I thought about this further and how our actions are affecting everyone we encounter. Each action is building that person up into either a most wondrous creature for all eternity, or a most vile creature for all eternity. Every action then is imbued with meaning. There are no useless actions.
This is also a good motivation to share the gospel with your friends. If you care about your friends, you want them to be with you don’t you? What kind of friend are you if you don’t want to be friends forever with a friend? The only way you can do that as a Christian is to be sure that your friends are Christians as well.
In view of this, should we not still cherish our friends? Should we not rejoice that we get to be friends forever with them? That Christian friend that you care so much about? It will never end. You get to spend forever with them and you get to know them better as time goes by.
Let’s also remember that Heaven doesn’t destroy good things here. It perfects them. You will have perfect friendship with that friend. Isn’t that good news?