This should be easy, I thought as I prepared to enter high school. I didn’t expect to have any problems making friends or interacting with my classmates. Unfortunately, my confidence was shattered on the very first day of school, when I met the boy seated next to me in class.
Sean was about my height but twice my weight. He was careless in his studies, never studied for exams, and yelled and cursed at teachers and students alike. He bragged endlessly about the violent computer games he played every chance he got, and their influence was evident in his angry, destructive behavior. I quickly wished I didn’t have to sit next to him.
If you try to make your circle closed and exclusively yours, it never grows very much. Only a circle that has lots of room for anybody who needs it has enough spare space to hold any real magic.
—Zilpha Keatley Snyder (b. 1927), American children’s writer
If you approach each new person you meet in a spirit of adventure, you will find yourself endlessly fascinated by the new channels of thought and experience and personality that you encounter.
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962), wife of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
—Anais Nin (1903–1977)
Good friends are honest even when they know it may hurt initially.
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.—Proverbs 27:6 NLT
Friends celebrate each other’s victories.
What woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!”—Luke 15:8–9
At about 3 pm on March 11, 2011, the Tohoku earthquake hit the northeastern half of Japan. It was the worst earthquake in that area’s recorded history. Thousands were killed, and hundreds of thousands more were forced to evacuate and move in with friends or into temporary shelters.
The sun was slipping below the horizon as I drove up the narrow two-lane road in central Mexico. I glanced at my wife, Amber, sleeping next to me. In the rearview mirror I could see our three daughters—Tory, the brilliant four-year-old; Shelly, who had just turned two and hardly seemed to stop talking; and baby Vanessa. All were also fast asleep. I considered stopping for coffee, but decided against it. Stopping would surely wake everyone up. Plus we were in a race against time. I didn’t mind driving in the evening, when the children were asleep and the vehicle was cool. It also gave me time to think. I needed that. It had been a long year!
Who needs your prayers? Lots of people do. Among those closest to you, there are probably at least a few who aren’t in good health, or have suffered some personal loss, or are depressed or stressed. And then there are those you hear about in the news and those you pass on the road of life.
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in our own concerns that we neglect to look around at the needs of others. This exercise is a remedy to such self-involvement, but it’s more than that; it’s a vehicle for you to reach out and help others.
I woke up feeling exhausted, even though I’d just slept for over an hour in the middle of the day—something I rarely do.
What’s wrong with me? I wondered. Am I getting sick? I checked my temperature. That wasn’t it.
I had work to do, but couldn’t focus. Then it came to me, “Do a diet recall.”
It was easy to remember what I’d eaten that day—half a piece of toast and a cup of tea in the morning. I glanced at my watch. It was 4 pm.
You are special. You’re not just one in a crowd—you’re special to Me! I know your every thought. I know you personally, and I am speaking to you personally now. Ask Me to speak to you whenever you want, when you’re up or when you’re down, or even when you just want some good company. I’m happy to speak to you on any subject, whenever you need it.
Turn to Me in your loneliness. I love you dearly, and I am here for you anytime, all the time. I am your constant companion, your best friend.
When you feel like no one cares and there is no love to be found, that is the time to lie back in My arms and find peace. When you are discouraged and feel like a mess, look into My face and see Me smile upon you, for I love you just the way you are. When you feel worried or frustrated, run to Me. I will be your perfect companion. When you feel that no one can possibly understand the difficulties you are passing through, that is the time to come to Me. I always understand. Set your affections on Me, and I will fill your every need.