Justin stuck a marshmallow on the end of his makeshift spear. His mouth watered just thinking about the roasted treat. He held it near the hottest coals and turned it slowly—the only way to toast a campfire delight. Leaving it in one spot would make it catch fire. He preferred a slow burn.

The snap, crackle, and pop of the fire echoed throughout the campsite, but didn’t drown out the chatter of the other gang members. Crickets chirped their songs as the stars flickered in the sky. Perfect night. Or was it?

Sam, their leader and Justin’s older brother, grabbed a spear and stretched his arm to reach the coals, but his treat only caught a flame. His marshmallow disintegrated within seconds. “Ugh!”

“Patience,” Justin said. He chose his next words wisely as he knew his brother was in a fowl mood. “Hey, why didn’t you invite Darryl to our fire?”

Justin needed to test Sam because of the pact he made with his best buddy, Darryl. He vowed to get to the bottom of the rumor that the leader was trying to oust the newest member of their gang. Justin wondered if Darryl’s captivating personality threatened his brother. Everyone gravitated to Darryl, making it clear he would make an awesome leader one day. Maybe Sam didn’t want to take that chance.

The logs shifted and sparks flew into the night air, bringing Justin back to the task at hand. “Well?”

Even though Darryl wasn’t invited, Justin knew his friend lingered nearby, waiting to catch his signal.

Sam shoved another marshmallow on his stick and held it near the coals. “I don’t like him.”

“Why?”

Sam flung his marshmallow into the fire. “Do I need a reason? He’s gone as of tomorrow.” He jabbed his stick into the ground by Justin’s feet. “And you must not tell him anything, or else.”

Even in the dark, Justin could see the evil glare in his brother’s eyes. He shuddered. Did he dare risk everything and have his brother also ban his own flesh and blood? But then again, how could he betray his best friend? They made a pact in the third grade to be friends forever.

His thoughts jumped back and forth as he watched the fireflies dance near the tree line. Their display of lights seemed to spell out the answer to his question.

He shoved three marshmallows onto his stick and held them over the coals.

Their signal for Darryl to flee.

I’ve always loved the friendship between David and Jonathan. I can almost picture them in the fields playing archery games, taunting each other on who would win. Laughing at each other’s jokes. Checking out the young girls at the market. They loved being together.

Friends are God’s gifts to us.

There are many types. Some may pretend to be our buddy but stab us in the back at the earliest convenience just to get one up on us. Have you ever had a ‘fair-weather’ friend? You know, a friend who is only a friend when it’s convenient for them? We probably all have at one point in our lives.

Have you ever been one of those friends? Again, if we’re honest, I bet we’d have to admit we’re guilty.

Then there are seasonal friends. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes God puts someone in our path for a certain period in our lives. When He knows we need them most. I believe these are different than fair-weathered friends. They’re not trying to use us. It’s just that our focus and interests shift. Doesn’t mean we’re still not friends but maybe just not as close.

Then, there’s a friendship like David and Jonathan’s. Best buds—forever friends. What can we learn from them?

They stuck together—no matter what. Even when Saul threatened Jonathan’s kingdom, Jonathan went against his father and helped David flee from the grips of a man filled with hatred. Do you have a friend that would do that for you?

Jonathan believed in his friend. David was going through some tough times and Jonathan could have given up on him, but he knew a good thing when he saw it. He knew his friend would make an awesome king. Do you show your friends how much you believe in them?

David took a risk and trusted Jonathan with his life. Saul hated David. He wanted him dead. So, what does David do? He reaches out to his enemy’s son. How trusting is that? Would you take a risk so drastic as David did for your friends?

They cried together. After Jonathan gave David the sign to flee, they wept. Have you ever truly cried with a friend? I’m talking about gut-wrenching sobs. I have and you know what? It feels good to trust someone so much that you feel you can release everything in front of them. No more façades. Pour out your heart.

They loved each other—forever. Their love was evident because even in the hard times, they remained friends. Love your friends. Hold them close.

Friendships like David and Jonathan are hard to come by. Let’s learn from this duo.

Don’t throw your friendships away. Be a forever friend.

Do you have a best friend? Any tips on how to keep our friendships? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Don’t be shy!

1 Samuel 20:42 (NIV)

Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.” 

Proverbs 17:17a (KJV)

“A friend loveth at all times.”

I couldn’t decide between these two songs, so I’m including both as they each have a great message. The first is by the group Point of Grace and has always been a favorite of mine (even sang it at my wedding with some friends). Hold your Circle of Friends close. Uplift them.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzDlJ8mUndE]
This next song is My Wish by Rascal Flatts. It’s my prayer to my best friends. I love you.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Y2-9QUJnk]

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