We often ignore the value of friends. We become too busy with life to remember the times in the past that friends were important to our very being. I often try to remember those incidents in life when someone stepped in and either bolstered my confidence when I was down, or provided some sound advice, even when I didn't want hear it.
A true friend cares enough to sacrifice for you and not expect return payment. They are just there when you need them and they only want to help you hurdle over a problem or recover from a challenge. I am so thankful to have had a couple of people like that in my life.
When our son was in high school he played basketball and I loved to go to watch the games. We had a common bond with basketball. As a dad, I was very proud of his ability to make the most of the competition and teamwork. During his senior year in high school, I was diagnosed with Small Cell Adreno carcinoma (very serious form of prostate cancer). I spent much of that winter in the hospital and couldn't attend many of Ryan's ballgames. We had a friend who attended the games in my place, video taped the games, then drove them to the hospital so I could watch them the same night. Few men would have gone to the trouble to show that friendship and caring. We have talked about him as "Jesus with skin on". Lonnie Ball, where ever you are today: THANK YOU FOR BEING A TRUE FRIEND.
I believe God blesses us with a few friends who care enough to sacrifice, even when it costs them time or money.