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July 14, 2008

In The Company of Friends

Thousands of miles away from home on their tour around the world, Richard and Evelyn Forrest often thought of two things—family and friends. Though they had been given a trip around the world, their hearts remained firmly tied to those they had left behind in Toccoa, Georgia.

As she was sailing for Africa, Evelyn dashed a letter off to Ora Frost, who had been one of the college’s first graduates and was now considered a beloved friend. The letter began with the words, “My dear.” She went on to write, “Your good letter . . . was forwarded to us . . . . We are glad to hear from you because we did not understand just why you did not come up the last Sunday we were home. We fully expected you and looked for you all day long, and the next day up until the train left . . . . We sail . . . tomorrow morning at ten o’clock, so good-bye and God bless you. Devotedly, Evelyn Forrest.”

Have you ever waited for someone you love and consider a friend to call or drop by? “We looked for you all day and the next day up until the train left.” Hopeful expectation marked their hearts as they waited for their friend’s arrival. In a letter to his friend, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?” And the greatest Friend of all said, “No longer do I call you slaves . . . but I have called you friends” (John 15:12). “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends . . .” (vv. 13-14).

There is no greater gift than the gift of eternal friendship and nothing to match being in the company of friends.

(Taken from the online book Grace in the Wilderness © 2008