anne_mikolay_120Another Christmas has come and gone, and while it would be very easy to complain about the unplowed road in front of my house, I prefer to concentrate on the goodness of mankind.

This was a holiday season replete with bad news. A dear friend's husband was diagnosed with a serious illness just two days before Christmas. My friend, who recently moved into a new home in Mississippi apart from family and friends, was understandably distraught and heartbroken. In addition to dealing with the shocking and sorrowful news she and her husband received, she was burdened by logistics and details. How would she handle this? Not a driver, how would she take her husband to the specialist in Houston, Texas? Without family and friends nearby, who would care for the couples' beloved pets? Who could she turn to for comfort and support? Who could she talk to?

In times of trouble, you will know who your friends truly are. Your friends will leap into action to assist you in any way they can, despite geographical distance and burdens of their own. My Mississippi friend prayed for help. God answered in the form of her husband's boss who told her not to worry about how to get to Houston; he would handle it for her. A generous friend in South Carolina volunteered to “dog sit” the couples' beloved yorkies for as long as necessary; this wonderful woman will drive all the way to Mississippi to pick up the dogs and take them home with her to South Carolina. This same good Samaritan, along with another kind woman in Georgia, began a monetary collection to lessen the couples' financial concerns. The telephone lines are burning up with calls of support and comfort to Mississippi, and the gates of heaven have been stormed with prayer and petition as friends from around the world offer a spiritual, collective hug to the patient and his wife.

Yes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. When in need, you will know who your true friends are, and they might not be who you expect. Through this unbelievable tragedy, we realize the Lord hears our supplications and responds. While we do not understand the Lord's ways, we are blessed to learn that He works through all things.

As one year ends and another begins, let us thank God for friends and ask His blessings upon them.