A friend loveth at all times ...
Did you know the book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible? It's also one of the most quoted books in the Bible. I remember my dad telling me when I was a child, "we are as poor as Job's turkey". Rich, poor, young, old, male, and female can all identify with Job. There is something for everyone, a hero, villians, suffering, and triumph; Job goes from riches to rags and back to riches again.
In chapter one Job is rich in so many ways, but by the time we get to chapter three job is sitting in ashes with nothing, and no one to comfort him. His wife came to him and asked him to quit serving God, and his friends showed up at the ash pile and tried to squeeze a confession out of Job as to why he was under such judgment. You can read 41 of the 42 chapters in the book of Job and never find one friend or family member who was willing to visit Job in his affliction.
However, Job's situation changed in chapter 42, he became twice as wealthy as he had ever been, and you guessed it, his brothers, sisters and friends mysteriously reappeared at Job's home. Read it for yourself, Job 42:11, I didn't even know Job had siblings until I read chapter 42, where were they in the other 41 chapters of Job, when he needed them the most.
The bible says a true friend loves at all times, when you are rich or poor, in good health or sickness. People that only show up in good times or when they need something are not real friends, and everyone knows someone like this. They don't answer your calls, visit you when you're discouraged, but when they need something, ring ring, guess who? I call them sponges because they are always taking in, but never give back.
The lesson to be learned has nothing to do with the sponges, but everything to do with us not becoming a sponge. Don't be that person who uses people, be a true friend, and love people at all times, good and bad. Make a conscious effort today, and reach out to someone you call a friend and connect with them through their joy or their sorrow. Someone you know needs a true friend today.
Pastor Ken Smith