July 27, 2021

Faith—He’s My Friend

John 15:9-17

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

—  John 15:13

For eight months a resident of the nursing home was in hospice care—far longer than she was expected to last. Her family felt the uneasy tension of praying that the end they didn’t want to come would come soon.

It was my privilege to visit her often. She wouldn’t always ­notice that I had come into the room, but as I sat with her and gently touched her arm, she would open her eyes, and her face would take on a knowing look.

She was very weak, and when she spoke, it was a feeble whisper. I knew she had been a singer, so I asked if she had a favorite song. It took some patient listening, but I was rewarded by a thin voice rasping, “Jesus Is All the World to Me.” I tentatively began to sing along. She led me through the whole first stanza:

“Jesus is all the world to me,/ my life, my joy, my all;/ he is my strength from day to day,/ without him I would fall./ When I am sad, to him I go,/ no other one can cheer me so;/ when I am sad, he makes me glad;/ he’s my Friend.”

As I left her room, grateful tears filled my eyes. My heart said, “That’s the way to be nearing death—knowing, having such a friend.”

Jesus, her friend, loved her—enough to lay down his life for her! Her loving response? “I know this: I love my dear friend, Jesus.”

Do you know this too?

Thank you, Jesus, for being the friend who is all the world to us. We love you. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Kiekover

Harvey Kiekover grew up on a Michigan farm and studied to go into pastoral ministry. He served as a teacher in Nigeria and as a pastor and chaplain in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He and his wife became the parents of three sons, and he enjoys spending time with his six grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!