February 28, 2017

A Friend at Midnight

Luke 11:5-13

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

—  Luke 11:9

One evening, shortly after midnight, a teenage woman was standing on our doorstep, ringing the doorbell. She was desperate. She was newly married, expecting a child, and now her husband threatened to leave her. She did not know where to turn, so she came to us. She needed a friend at midnight.

Many of us, at one time or another, need a friend to talk to or lean on. Sometimes life gets the best of us, and in our need we turn to someone we can trust, and we hope that somehow we’ll find some relief.

But sometimes friends let us down. Sometimes the people we turn to don’t understand—or, worse, don’t really care. Sometimes we misread the people we confide in—and they betray our trust. And some friends, like the one in the parable, help only because they can’t get out of helping.

But there is one Friend who never lets us down: the Lord Jesus. He is the Friend who’s always there, who never puts us on hold, and who never turns us away. And even though he doesn’t always give us what we want, or what we think we need, there is one gift he always gives: the Holy Spirit.

Jesus says, “If you then . . . know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” He is the one Friend we can’t do without.

Father in heaven, fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we can honor and serve you. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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