I love the verse that reads "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17. It is so precious and so profound at the same time. I have experienced this over and over again and I feel like this passage was written especially for me. I have had adversity in my life, as have many of us, and having a true friend and "brother," or shall I say sister, to truck alongside in this pilgrimage is without price.
To have a friend that counts it a privilege to stick by me when the going gets rough and no immediate relief seems near is a rare treasure. When life gets embarrassingly ugly and inconsolably painful; when I am hit blind-sided and my life takes a shift for the worse, and I can still say that my friend or friends are as they have always been, then I know they love me in the sunshine as well as in the rain, unlike fair-weather friends that come and go.
A brother being born for adversity heightens friendship to another sphere. When a friend identifies as a brother or in this case sister (from another mother) and actually goes through the fire with me and would have it no other way, then I know they were born for [my] adversity. They realize that the Lord placed them just where they needed to be "for such a time as this" and they have a sense of joy in the furnace.
This brings to mind Someone who this passage fits oh too perfectly. Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate Friend of all friends. He will never leave my side. I will not be forsaken with this Heavenly companion. He is in it until the end. "...and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:20. He is forever faithful. 2 Timothy 2:13. I never have to guess what He's thinking. His thoughts are just a Word away. He is dependable, readily available and eager to spend time with me. He never gets tired of my company, as a matter of fact, he longs for my company. He listens with attentive ears and always responds with grace.
When life becomes overwhelming, He won't avoid or ignore because He doesn't know what to do or say, but says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28. "Come, let us reason together..." Isaiah 1:18. Instead of abandoning, He consistently pursues and moreover, He was born to die [for you and for me].
Jesus was born to a virgin by the Holy Ghost for one purpose and one purpose only; to redeem sinful man back to Himself; to restore him back to the fold of God. He suffered cruelty and rejection and heartache for the sake of each of us. He died the worse death any human ever will, for He took on the sin of the whole world and was at one point separated from His father. What a Friend is He.
And though none of my earthly friends have gone to that extent, a hand-full have trod the bitter waters with locked arms. We have such a Heavenly Father to think of all our needs. He provides not only our spiritual and physical needs, but our social needs as well. "For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations" 100:5