NEXT TO THEM

Written By:  Tim Grissom
And next to him the men of Jericho built. And next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built . . . and next to them . . . and next to them . . . and next to them . . . (Nehemiah 3).
Mike was the first guy I felt I could truly count on. He redefined friendship for me. Not because we grew up together (we didn’t), or spent a huge amount of time together, or shared the same hobbies (only fishing). He redefined friendship the day he pulled me aside and told me I wasn’t living up to my responsibilities. He wasn’t harsh but he was direct. He was genuinely concerned that I was approaching my faith journey far too casually and he cared too much to leave me alone about it.

His words hurt. And they helped. They helped a lot, actually.

Since that Mike, God has brought another Mike into my life. And a Bill, a Blake, a couple of Brents, a Dan, a BJ, a Lee, four or five Steves, and a . . . You get the point.

These are the men who are “next to me,” and if it weren’t for them, I’d have given up on wall-building (and every other kingdom assignment) a long time ago. I can’t imagine how much lonelier loneliness would be, how much darker darkness would be, or how much heavier heaviness would be without Mike, Blake, a couple of Brents, Dan, BJ, Lee, and all those Steves next to me.

Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This poor guy had too many companions but not enough friends. He had a roster full of playmates when he really needed teammates. Not to downplay the importance of fun, but if that's all you’ve got . . . well then, someday you’re going to find yourself building a wall and there’ll be nobody next to you, nobody to hand you another brick. Or the enemy is going to get all riled up because of the progress you’re making, and he’ll try to take you down.

And all those playmates and companions will be kicking up dust as they run in retreat.

But the friends? They’ll still be there—handing you a brick with one hand and holding a sword in the other.

Because that’s what friends do.
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Don & Suzanne Didgeon - February 4th, 2021 at 9:09pm

Superb as always,Tim, thanks!!!