Monday, January 08, 2007

Closer Than A Brother

Several years ago (about 27 to be exact) I was given a gift from God. It was, in all likelihood, one of the greatest gifts He ever gave me. This gift has been a constant source of strength for me in every moment of my life. My gift- my brother- has been the best part me for 27 years. A few days ago, I helped my brother move to the Dallas/Ft. Worth metro area and the only thing I kept thinking was, “Alright God, you just took my Father only ten months ago.”

I know my brother’s move to Dallas was God’s will, but I feel no conviction for not liking His will; however, I will gladly give him up if it means that God will use him and bless his ministry in a way that glorifies the Lord and fulfills my brother’s life. There are no words to express my pride for my brother and the joy for what God will do for him. I will miss him more than words can explain, even if it is just a hundred miles or so.

Knowing for the last few weeks that he would be moving has placed a certain scripture on my mind like never before.

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” -Proverbs 18:24 NJKV

I believe that there are some scriptures in the word of God that cannot be truly understood until you have experienced some of life. If you are wise enough to look, a lot of our daily lives are the way they are just so God can show us small pictures of Himself. I think this scripture is a picture of our God through something all too mundane to many of us.

I read an issue in Time Magazine not too long ago that talked about brothers and sisters and the underappreciated significance of each. From the moment we start on life’s journey most of use have a brother or sister. Through each step of our life they are somewhere not too far away taking their own steps not too far behind nor ahead. Your playmate through childhood, the only one who really seems to understand you in the confusion of teen years, a best friend as a young adult, a respected and admired peer in the prime of life, and a companion who has been in almost every memory at the end of the journey.

Some will lose their siblings long before they should, but for most of use they will walk with us through most of our life. Siblings outlive parents, and long after spouses have passed, most of them will still be there. If you have a sibling, then you know what I am talking about. I am talking about a friend who seems closer than ‘just’ a friend. Someone who knows you- really knows you. Someone who can finish your sentences, someone who knows how you will react- knows what you are thinking. We are as proud of their accomplishments as if they are our own, yet all too often we seldom tell them so.

How interesting it is that the writer of Proverbs chose to say, ‘…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.’ Is there any other way to really bring the point home concerning the closeness of our heavenly Father? For myself, and anyone else who has a brother or sister, I think not.

The words of that scripture were divinely inspired by the one who created the very relationship between brothers and sisters. To know that God is closer than someone who has been with you through every moment of your life, to know that He is closer than the one(s) who have shared in every joy and sorrow; what a powerful truth! I am blessed to know this truth. I am blessed to have a God who is so personal to me that He is closer than the truest, deepest, closest friend I have. How great my God- my savior- is!

And to my brother, I love you Jason.


Karla said...

Joseph, I agree wholeheartedly with this post. I just pray that others have the chance to experience the joy of having a close relationship with a brother or sister(s). You really made me think about that scripture and look at it in a totally different perspective. Thanks for sharing this with us.

jay5in said...

I love you too.

LJoyE said...

I am almost speechless, Joseph. How beautiful you wrote about this time in your life and the scripture that has been so true in MY life. After losing Keith, my friend, the one who knew me when I was "young", I wondered how I would be able to go on without my "brother". Keith would wrap his big arms around me anywhere, anytime, and he didn't care who saw him. He was so much fun! We grew up together experiencing childhood, teen years, marriage, children.....then when it came to grandchildren our sharing stopped. I miss Him terribly, but GOD stepped in and wrapped His arms around me, and He doesn't care where I am, or who I'm with, HE is there with me. Thank you for letting me reflect!

Misty said...

What a great post Joseph. I have siblings of mine own, but there was never a deep closeness. It is great for me to witness this closeness forming with my own boys and I want them to express this someday as you did in your post.
Thank you

Gene Holley, Jr. said...

Wow! Too bad I don't have a brother! Sounds like a great thing to have. I do have a cousin (Carla) who is really like a sister in many ways. Great post.

Dan Bryant said...

Great post. Words cannot express how great your thoughts and words are. It made me wish that I had a sibling closer in age as I was growing up. It is truly amazing to see all of the changes that God is bringing about in Life Tabernacle during this time.

Aunt Diane said...

Joseph , I love reading anything you write . I can just hear you saying these things . You are an awesome man of God and I am thankful we had the time to visit with you , your Mom ,Jason and the privledge to meet Julie . What exciting times God has in store for your family . I love and appreciate you very much and wanted to tell you so . I look forward to seeing you in July .
love You

ashley jordan said...

This post almost made me cry! There are no words to describe the joy it is to have siblings. I wouldn't trade my sisters for anything in this world. I experienced the same feelings you are having when Sheree left.