Thursday, November 5, 2009

Proverbs, chapter 17

When have you learned the most? Some of the most important lessons we learn come not in the classroom, but when we are tested by life during hard times. I have been thinking about that a lot lately. Shortly before I graduated college, I lost a dear friend of mine. She was only 22, but her mother found her dead in her bedroom one morning. She was set to be married in three weeks and was about to graduate Summe Cum Laude from her college. It is a death that still affects me because we used to be really close.

3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests the heart. – Proverbs 17:3

I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a test. She was the first of my close friends to pass away, and in that test I learned to deal with sudden loss and missed opportunities. I was thinking of her yesterday because she would have turned 30 this week. Back when we were close, I think a part of me always wanted something more to develop between us, but she was always with someone else so I stayed out of the way. Instead, I gained a very good friend. We grew apart, however, once we went to college. I think there is a lesson in that too.

17 A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity. – Proverbs 17:17

That is exactly how we were. In the ninth grade, we helped each other through a lot of tests. We shared a lot of joys and sorrows. The lesson I learned form her death is not to take friends like her for granted. After we grew apart, I missed her friendship. I remember the last time I saw her alive was about a year before her death, and it was a brief, but fun reunion. As I age, I miss having her spirit and vigor in my life.

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