My thoughts (Ben Lamb):
In today’s reading, verses 6-9 seem to resonate most with me. Since having gone through various troubling and troublesome periods in my own life, and observing the same in others’ lives, I’ve learned to agree with what these words say.
A friend can be a sounding board, which often is a valuable service. However, friends can also point out inconsistencies in our lives and mention opportunities for improvement. Sometimes, genuinely helpful words from friends can seem like wounds. When I initially feel wounded, I try to remember that I’m in the center of my life and can’t possibly see a situation from the same perspective as an outsider.
When things are going smoothly, I often am content to try making my own path in life and don’t take time to appreciate some of the simple, yet sweet things in life such as a beautiful sunrise. In the second half of this verse (7) I am reminded that if a person’s soul is hungry (i.e, craving affection, recognition, a sense of need, etc.) even bitter things seem sweet (i.e., making unfortunate choices in life if doing so will get others’ desperately desired attention in some way).
I think there is more than one type of home for a person. A building with one’s address on the front is certainly an example. But, I’ve also heard people say, “When I came here [i.e., church, city, new love’s arms, etc.] I finally felt home.” I imagine that a bird who hasn’t found its way back home is sad and filled with a sense of restlessness until It finds its home. Are there some “homes” in your life for which you still are searching?
Some of the greatest gifts we can offer to others are sweet friendship; taking the time to try some understanding; and thoughtful ideas/suggestions which are carefully offered with totally sincerity and a kind, Christ-like heart.
Thought for the day: Am I the kind of person that others really should have as a friend? If not, what should I do about that?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.