Life is all about relationships. God created us to connect with each other. Many times, friends are placed in our lives that are there for a season and gone the next. Others we have just very brief acquaintances. However, every so often God will place people in your life that will be life-long friends. These are the ones who you can spend months away from but then simply pick up where you left off the next time you see them. Tonight, for my wife and I, we spent time with those friends. We drove to Pennsylvania for two reasons – 1) To visit my wife’s brother who lives here in the woods. 2) To spend time with some friends who quite abruptly left us a few months ago. We never truly felt like we had the proper amount of time to say goodbye, but today proved we really didn’t need to.
We drove about an hour from our vacation spot here in Callicoon, NY to Moscow, PA where Jay Locklin grew up. He and his family moved up here a few short months ago after God opened up some very specific doors. Upon arrival we shared big hugs – but the embrace was not very much different from the ones we had shared many times before. It felt natural – as if we had just been hanging out the other night. These are the friendships God gives us that we must cherish.
I’ve learned through friendship with Jay (and Katrina as well) that a true friend bares the following criteria:
They are quick to lend a listening ear. A real friend listens carefully to your excitement, your joy. He hears your concerns and interests. He doesn’t interrupt with his thoughts until he knows you’ve finished speaking.
They give Godly, sound advice. A true friends advice always lines up with the Word of God.
They are unafraid to tell you that you are wrong. A great friend cares more about your well-being than the friendship. They are quick to warn you of a mistake. They are willing to correct you, trusting that you will receive. They aren’t concerned with losing a friendship – they are concerned with being honest for your own sake.
They think of you before themselves. A good friend will give you the shirt off of their back – literally. Even if it puts them in lack, a true friend will do anything for you. They will give you a roof over your head, a hot meal and anything else you need in time of need.
I know this may sound like a cheesy chain email – but it is from my heart. Jay Locklin has always been this friend to me. If God has blessed you with your own Jay – give them a call and tell them how much you love them.