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No One Around

No One Around

03 April 2010

Today’s Reading: Judges 17-18; Psalm 89; 2 Corinthians 3

Scripture:

There was no one around to help. They were a long way from Sidon and had no treaty with the Arameans. Laish was in the valley of Beth Rehob. (Judges 18:28 MSG)

Reading about the people of the town of Laish really struck me. Judges 18:7 says of them, “They were living in safety under the umbrella of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting. They had everything going for them. But the people lived a long way from the Sidonians to the west and had no treaty with the Arameans to the east.”

They had everything going for them. They were members of the Sidonian alliance, but they had no on-going, face-to-face interaction with the Sidonians. They felt secure in their relationship with the Sidonians, but actually the Sidonians were too far away to help when things went wrong. There were people nearby, but they had no relationship with them. There was no one around to help!

I thought of the admonition in Proverbs, “Better a nearby friend than a distant family.” (Proverbs 27:10 MSG)

I have valued friendships with people around the US, in African countries, in the UK, in Jamaica, and elsewhere. I stay in touch with these friends by email, texting, and even an occasional phone call. We rejoice with each other’s blessings and weep over each other’s pain. When I visit them or they visit me, the fellowship is sweet. But we’re not around to help each other in the big and small challenges of everyday life.

You and I need to cultivate “Close by” relationships. It’s important that we know and that we are known by the people in our lives. These relationships add value to our lives. Daily interaction with people we love and who love us makes life rich.

“Close by” relationships provide accountability. “Close by” relationships mean that someone will be there to help us when things go wrong. What steps can you take today to strengthen your “Close by” friendships?

Prayer:

Father, Thanks for the reminder about the value of “Close by” relationships. Help me to prioritize my time and efforts to cultivate “Close by” relationships and to be that kind of friend to others as well.

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