A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17 (NLT)

We have new neighbors that moved in about a month ago. That really isn’t news because we live in a community where people have moved here from all over the country in the last three years. But this couple is our closest neighbor, given that there are still three empty lots between us. We had them over this week for a get-acquainted time and discovered many points of contact in our lives. Making friends takes time and energy. With some friends, it is easy to pick up where you left off, almost as if there had never been a separation of time or distance. But I have found that the ability to do that requires the hard work of establishing the friendship through time spent together, shared activities, and similar interests. But there are definitely seasons of friendship – no matter what the age or stage in life. I have friends that I can call day or night that have been walking life’s path with me for over 35 years. They take me just as I am and I know with certainty that they will be there for me tomorrow. Others pass through my life and while thoroughly enjoying the friendship, the demands of daily living, change of vocation or avocation, marital status, or moving create distance that often ends with the fading away of the connection. There has been no conflict – just no contact. And now we are in the new stage era, again. My young granddaughters know the feeling of being the new kids in their school. Who do you play with at recess? Who will be my friend? Our move to Arizona means we are the newbies, too. Maybe that is one of the reasons that I wanted our new neighbors over now; I know how it feels to be on the outside looking in. Yet, even with difficult year we experienced, God has graciously given us a sense of belonging in our community with new friends that are gradually becoming old friends! Thank you, Lord.