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Four a.m. Friend
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Friends come in so many packages. They are really like extended family. But what kind of a friend are you?

Most of all, I want to be a friend whom my friends can count on to be there for them. It’s not possible to be physically there for every friend of mine, since they are spread virtually around the globe—but to be there as far as support is another matter. Broken hearts, severed relationships, dreadful illnesses, and confusion, come uninvited because of many of life’s snares.

Are you the kind of friend that if you’re called at four a. m. you will listen to whatever the call is about, really listen—and not yawn over it? Have you committed enough Scripture to memory to be able to give a frantic friend some comfort and direction with God’s Word?

I suggest studying and memorizing the texts that give you words to help a distraught friend. Don’t hesitate to ask to pray with your friend. If receptive, it will help calm troubled waters. Most likely the person is calling because they trust you as a Christian friend. They seek safety in the ark, that you can help provide.

Caring Heart

Then, be yourself with your friend. If he or she is crying, don’t be afraid to cry along with them. It’s not revealing weakness, but instead your caring heart.
  • Don’t judge the matter or the people involved.
  • Give advice only if it’s requested.
  • It’s better to say, “I care” than, “I understand.” Sometimes to say the latter comes across as condescending. Everyone’s hurt is singular. There are no carbon copies with any kind of pain.
  • If the hurting friend comes to you in person, the touch of your hand on theirs, a shoulder hug, or a bear hug can help the friend feel that he or she is not imposing, no matter the hour.
  • Maybe even fix a cup of herbal tea to help set the stage for fellowship through the pain, while the friend finds warmth in the comforting drink, as well as the comforting welcome.
Perhaps you have a friend whom you know is going through a very difficult time but that person hasn’t opened up to you. Maybe you’re aware that the person is becoming reclusive. You feel that you need to tell that friend you want to “be there.” In that case don’t show up unexpected, call first and see if your friend  wants a visit—and then proceed with some of the previous ideas. If she or he welcomes your visit, pray before you go for God to go with you. If it’s a negative reaction for a visit, say something to make it easier for that friend such as, “That’s okay, I just want you to know I’m here for you.”

It’s “being here for you” that’s the most important message you can convey at four a.m. or any time.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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