It’s that time of year when we enjoy marigolds, petunias, and impatiens in our yards. They add beauty and sweet fragrance to our landscaping as well as make beautiful bouquets for the dining room table. These flowers are called annuals because they complete their life cycle in one growing season, once they die, they never return. On the other hand, plants called perennials return year after year and still survive through harsh winter weather.
Annuals are enjoyable and bloom profusely during the warmer seasons, but at the end of summer, as colder weather approaches, they lose their beauty, wilt, and die. Perennials, such as jonquils, lilies, and beautiful coneflowers, survive the cold temperatures, and come back to bloom another year. Some perennials even bloom during the coldest winters. The camellia bush, for example, blooms continually during winter months. Jonquils are the first flower to bloom in early spring and have been known to pop out their vivid colors through layers of snow.
I believe friendships can be like these two types of flowers: Some friends are “fair-weather” friends. Like the annual flower, when trouble comes … gossip or misunderstandings … the “annual” type friend will weaken and turn away from the friendship. On the other hand, there are friends who linger to support you through trials and testings and will stick with you no matter what kind of harsh conditions assault the friendship.
If I compare my friendships with these two types of flowers, which type of friend am I? Do I add something to the lives of my friends when they need an ally and support them with positive uplifting encouragement? Or, do I wilt and become negative or depressing to be around when harsh conditions enter their lives and ignore their silent pleas for understanding?
The Bible says: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: And there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Prov. 18:24a
If I want to be a friend who sticks “closer than a brother,” I have to be a perennial type friend. What about you?