Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

Feb. 5, 2017


Faithful friends are like diamonds


       There are many kinds of friends. There are good friends and casual friends. There are friends who are trustworthy and some who are not. In my sunset years I am deeply thankful for friends who have proved to be faithful friends.

A man is rich who has even a few faithful friends. I am a rich man because I have many good friends that I consider faithful friends. Some poet expressed a great truth about genuine friends this way:

True friends are like diamonds,

Precious and rare,

Fake friends are like autumn leaves,

Found everywhere.

       I don’t have any diamonds but I do have some true friends who are more precious to me than diamonds. One such friend comes to mind – a man who served as a leader in a church I served as pastor. We became close friends, even taking the time for a few years to pray together at lunch while sharing our common search for an authentic spiritual life as disciples of Christ.

After almost a decade of close friendship we each moved to a different state but our friendship did not end. Our friendship has continued strong for nearly 30 years since our work separated us.

       A few years ago this friend and I came across the song “Faithful Friend” written by Steven Curtis Chapman. The song helped us realize the great value of our friendship. Twila Parish recorded the song, singing it as a duet with Chapman. The lyrics touch the heart. Twila begins with these words:


Everyone knows you

As a man of honor

I am glad to know you

Simply as a friend


You've always taken

Time to be my brother

And I'll be standing by you in the end


But I will never put you on a pedestal

I thank the Lord for everything you do

I'll be there to pray for you and for the ones you love

I believe that He will finish all He's started in you


I will be an open

Door that you can count on

Anywhere you are

Anywhere you've been

I will be an honest

Heart you can depend on

I will be your faithful friend.


              Steven responds by singing:


I am one of many

Whose path has been made clearer

By the light you've carried faithfully

As a warrior and a child


God has used you greatly

To encourage and inspire

You've remained a true friend all the while


So I will never put you on a pedestal

Cause we both know all the glory is the Lord's

And I'll be there to pray that He will keep you by His grace

And I always will remind you to be seeking His face


              The song concludes with these touching words:


Should it ever come your time to mourn

I will weep with you

And every single time you win

I'm celebrating, too

Oh, I will celebrate with you


I will be an open

Door that you can count on

Anywhere you are

Anywhere you've been

I will be an honest

Heart you can depend on

I will be a faithful friend


       Over recent years my friend and I have shared our struggles, family blessings and family crises, heartaches, defeats and victories, encouraging each other to celebrate every win and to keep on “seeking His face.” I confess that I am profoundly thankful for a friend who has “taken the time to be my brother” and to remain an “open door” that I can count on in any circumstance.

       Life is not made rich by money and possessions. It is made rich by having faithful friends you can count on. If you have one or two, give thanks and do your best to be a faithful friend until the good Lord finishes “all He’s started in you.” + + +