As I look back over the years, I recognize that the Truth for this month is definitely one of the most impactful in my own life. I came to know this Truth when I was only twelve years old. I had heard for the first time that Jesus wants a friendship with me. He loves me so much that He gave his life for me, not just to save me from my sin but so I can know him in a close personal relationship, now and forever. To have a friendship with the God of the universe was the best news I had ever heard and I was so excited to ask Jesus into my heart. I began a friendship with Him that very day. I found Him to be my faithful leader, constant companion, and my number one confidant. He became my anchor and I had no idea at that time how significant this relationship would be in my life through the storms that were to come.
Anchor Truth: Jesus Is Our Friend
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
I also came to realize the amazing love that comes from a faithful friend—the kind of friend that Jesus is—and how laying down one’s life is the greatest act of love and sacrifice. This Truth took on a much deeper meaning for me during our journey with our daughter Karina’s cancer. I witnessed my husband doing something sacrificial for our daughter, a beautiful analogy that ties to this great laying down of one’s life for one you love.
Karina, 14 years old, and her dad, Ron
When Karina was just fourteen years old, she was in need of blood, especially platelets, after undergoing the treatments to fight her cancer. The leukemia was so aggressive that the donor blood was not staying with her; she would need a more perfect match for the blood and platelet transfusions she would need to live.
My husband and I were both tested to see if either of us would be a perfect match for Karina. This involved a trip to the blood bank to donate and test our blood and platelets. This was one of those monumental days in my memory: I remember exactly what I was wearing (which always signifies to me that a specific recollection was a VERY big occasion). I had on my army green fatigue cargo capris (taking on my battle fighting mode) and a pale blue polo shirt.
Ron and I were both placed in large comfortable chairs and hooked up to (through my eyes) HUGE needles… I just about fainted looking at them! I was very concerned about being able to help Karina but secretly was hoping and praying my husband would be the perfect match. I couldn’t imagine being the one to donate on an ongoing basis when I was already dizzy and shaking and feeling faint before the procedure had even started.
Thankfully, my husband was the perfect match and he began to give his platelets on a regular basis. (He still holds the record at the Cascade Blood Bank for the most platelets given in such a short time!)
My husband’s great love for our daughter was amazing. He would have given anything — his very life — for her to live. His ongoing donations of blood and platelets did bring life and strength to Karina; it was truly a miracle. Ron still has scars on his forearms as a reminder of the great love and sacrifice for our treasured daughter. I was so thankful Ron was the match, a true answer to my prayer. To see the endurance and strength it took to give that much blood was an incredible act of love and as a result Karina received three perfect years of health and lived her life to the fullest!
He would have given anything — his very life — for her to live... and as a result, Karina received three perfect years of health and lived her life to the fullest!
My husband’s sacrifice for Karina — our precious daughter! — reminds me of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, God’s precious children. He sacrificed His blood at the cross for you and me, so we may live with Him now and forever in heaven. The Truth and verse for this month are so important in understanding what it means to have Jesus as an anchor for our lives. Jesus is literally dying to love on each one of us. He sacrificed His life for each one of us in order that we may have a forever friendship with Him. That is amazing love and friendship!
“[Jesus] sacrificed His blood at the cross for you and me, so we may live with Him now and forever in heaven.”
I like to look up the meanings of words and the definition of FRIEND from the dictionary is: “a person one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection.” And, “a person who helps support someone; companion, soulmate and confidant,” are a few synonyms. The Hebrew meaning of friend is “one who loves.”
True friendship is when someone knows you better than you know yourself and takes a position in your best interest in a crisis. Friendship goes beyond just sharing time together and it is long lasting.
I have thought of some of the characteristics I appreciate in my friendships: honesty, love, empathy, generosity, trust, loyalty, encouragement and steadfastness. I have experienced these qualities and much more with Jesus and can truly call Him my best friend. He has proved himself over and over again. I hope and pray that you can know Jesus as your anchor and best friend too.