We are moving this week. In fact, the movers are scheduled to arrive this morning. If things go according to plan, there will be two days of packing and loading here in Houston, then we will unload at our new home just north of the Dallas/Ft Worth area on Wednesday.
If you’ve ever moved, you know that carries a lot of implications. New utilities. New doctors. New church. And even some new friends.
What’s wonderful about the friendship thing is that even while you get new local friends, you can keep the ones you move away from. Physical distance does not have to divide friends. Instead a new place means additional friends. Friends don’t divide, they multiply!
We have moved seven times during 34 years of marriage. We have made new friends each time. Although we don’t regularly stay in touch with all of them, we still count them as friends. We can easily reconnect. In fact, this has happened multiple times. We may go years without speaking to an old friend, then life brings us together again and we discover the bonds of friendship remain.
And then there are others. Friends we have “carried” with us from one place to the next. Both of us have made the effort needed to stay in regular communication. To work out face-to-face visits. These relationships have actually grown, deepened, over time.
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9, NLT
All these friendships reveal God’s great grace and sweet love to us. He knows we need connections to others. He knows we need others in our lives to encourage, strengthen, exhort, and comfort us. And He knows they in turn need us. He designed us that way. As relational beings. And He created friendship to meet those needs.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17, NLT
Although it is bittersweet to move away from local friends, I can anticipate the new relationships God has in store for us in our new town. And I pray I may be the friend they need.
How you experienced friendship that survives time and distance? In what ways do you foster these relationships?