So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

Trying to go it alone these days is hard and often, discouraging. COVID has put a whole new spin on isolation. I have just completed seven weeks of recovery from two different surgeries and spent most of that time at home. I don’t do well being cooped up with not much to do. I’ve read a lot of books, listened to podcasts, watched TV, and walked Rusty, as I am able. The thing that has gotten me through this is my people. Family checks on me. Friends bring meals. Neighbors knock on my door and bring me milkshakes. Texts and phone calls to friends far and near encourage me.

However, yesterday I was brought up short. Over the weeks, I wondered why I had not heard from a good friend who had moved away to be closer to her family. It was not like her. Little did I know that she had fallen and broken her hip. I wanted to complain and fuss that I always had to do the calling but God nudged me to pick up the phone. We chatted and caught up on all our ailments, family, and “the world” so that when I clicked the phone off, I remembered how important friendship is to our health and well-being.

And the key — communication. It’s very hard to keep a friendship going if you don’t talk to that person. You have to purpose to make it happen. I have friends that I have had for forty years and even though we don’t speak as often as we would like, I know I can pick up the phone and we are right back to that intimacy that comes with a close friend. There is no doubt in my mind that they will ever abandon me. If I need them, they will be here. These last weeks have proved that over and over.

The good news is that God doesn’t ever abandon us, either. He is the friend that “sticks closer than a brother.” Yet, the relationship can become distant if we don’t talk to each other. Prayer is the key — the communication — that binds our hearts to the One who made us, loves us, and has a perfect plan for our lives.

But even as we have to purpose to keep up with distant friends, we have to choose to make time each day to talk to our Heavenly Friend. It’s easy to let it go for a few days, and then a few weeks, and before you know it, God is distant and we wonder who moved. The habit of a quiet time is like any other habit…it’s a choice each day.

Don’t let pride get in the way as I almost did with my friend. Pick up the phone. Don’t let that Bible sit on your night stand and catch dust due to lack of use. Open it up and let God talk to you. Keep the conversation going as you talk with Him.

That’s what friends do.