The biggest challenge we can face in our relationships is to hang in there with a loved one or friend when times are tough for them.  In seasons of depression, illness, loss or testing, our true friends emerge. Sticking with the stuck is hard, particularly when the stuck show little or no gratitude at the time.

Video Link: West Wing clip “Now we’re both in the Hole”

Stick with the stuck:

The other day I was listening R.C. Sproul talk on the subject of character and values passed down from fathers to sons. One man he knew said that when he was a boy his father always helped people who found themselves in the midst of being stuck and were trying to get unstuck. The boy asked his father why he ‘wasted’ time with people in difficult situations who showed no appreciation for a helping hand.

The boy’s father said, “We stick with the stuck, son.

I’ve been stuck on many occasions in my life. Each time, there has been someone there sticking with me. I can be mean, nasty and ungrateful when I’m stuck. Just ask my wife. She hasn’t left my side. She is my friend and she is sticky.  I try to be more like her.

Because he/she is my friend:
The late Chuck Colson was giving a speech to a large audience after serving a term in prison for his involvement in the Watergate Scandal (Special Counsel to President Nixon from 1969 to 1973.  His nickname was ‘the Hatchet Man’). Keep in mind, most of the nation held Nixon in contempt and loathed anyone involved in the scandal, including Chuck Colson. In the midst of Mr. Colson’s speech, an angry protester shouted the condemning question; “Why would you go to jail for a man like Richard Nixon?” The protestor assumed that he would insight anger against Mr. Colson.

Chuck Colson paused, looked down and silence fell on the crowd. Then, he raised his head and stared directly into the eyes of the questioner and said; “Because Richard Nixon is my friend“. At this simple yet profoundly honest answer, the crowed stood up and cheered. Even the protester couldn’t help himself as he applauded Chuck’s response.

Why did the crowd respond in such a manner? Because we all want a friend like that. I want to be a friend like that and have friends like that. Obviously, we hope there won’t be prison time involved. But, you get the point.

You know the way out

Sometimes our relationships are tested by fire as we stand on the edge of the abyss with a friend. Sometimes we stand alone peering down into the darkness and hear the cries for help from below. If you’ve been down there before, the darkness is like light to you. You know the way out, right?  Whether its a divorce, cancer, loss of a parent or child, etc., if you have experience, you may be the ONLY one who can help.

Are you sticky?
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.’ Prov 18:24

Read also the first Chapter of Ruth.

Can you think of a time when you were stuck and a friend jumped in the hole with you?

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