Western novelist Stephen Bly says that in the days of America’s Old West there were two types of friends (and horses): runners and standers. At the first sign of trouble, the runner would bolt – abandoning you whatever peril you were facing. But a stander would stick with you no matter the circumstances. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know which kind of friend you had until trouble came. And then it was too late – unless your friend was a stander.
Rather than being concerned with what kind of friends we have, however, we ought to consider what kind of friends we are. In the finals days of Paul’s ministry, as he awaited death, some who had ministered with him turned into runners and abandoned him to face execution alone. In his last letter, he listed some (like Demas) who had run off, them simply stated, “Only Luke is with me” (2 Timothy 4:11). Luke was a stander. While undoubtedly disappointed by those who had deserted him, Paul must have been deeply comforted to know he was not alone.
Proverbs tells us that “a friend loves at all times” (17:17). When the people we know face trouble, what kind of friend will we be – a runner or a stander? – Bill Crowder.
Dear Lord, help us to be the kind of friend who doesn’t run when our friends are in need. Give us the courage to stand by them, the wisdom to know what to say, and the ability to serve them. Amen.
A true friend stands with us in times of trial.
- October 30, Vol. 16, Our Daily Bread