A Friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity. – Proverbs 17:17
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24
I always thought that these two verses were saying basically the same thing, but now I’m not so sure. I took it to mean that good friends can be truer than family. Certainly we all know someone whose family is absent from their lives. Maybe they live physically too far away, or maybe they are just so different in personality and life that they can’t seem to make the jump to close relationships. Friends are those people you choose, so we often find those deep soul connections with our friends rather than our blood.
But I think adversity has helped me see that a brother may not be born to create adversity, but rather for times of adversity. Sure, my brother teased me growing up. Sure he still mocks me over an incident where I ran screaming from a bottle of shampoo and another time that he convinced me in my groggy state that my teddy bear was talking. But when push comes to shove, my brother is the one I turn to. (And I’d like to add this is just as true for my sister.)
When my father died months before my wedding, who waked me down the aisle? Who showed up at my house to watch my kids when I was in labor, or we needed to make a run to the ER? Who did I text a thousand times from my mother’s bedside? Who stood next to the grave the day we buried our son? Please don’t misunderstand, I have many a good friend that showed up at these and other hard moments, but I know I can count on my brother and sister in a deeper way, in a “we’re all in this together” sort of way. My siblings have been my rocks through more adversity than I thought it was possible for one person to bear.
I am so very fortunate to have friends who love at all times, but I am all the more blessed that I had a brother born for adversity.