I love historical fiction. I especially love anything by Conn Iggulden. A couple of years ago, a friend introduced me to his series on Genghis Khan. It was spectacular. So, I recently picked up his series on Julius Caesar. It, too, is spectacular.
During one escapade to wreak vengeance on a pirate sea craft early in his career, Julius lies awake, worrying that his legion will not prove up to the task. They are a relatively ragtag band of soldiers, with only a handful of professionally trained men. The rest were nothing more than enthusiastic peasants picked up at local port towns.
As Julius considers the battle to come, he comforts himself with the knowledge that his men will stand firm. They had, after all, developed a strong comradery through their other adventures.
“A man standing next to his friends cannot run for shame,” thinks Julius.
While I certainly don’t condone wreaking vengeance on pirate ships, I think Julius (well, Iggulden) had a point.
Standing next to friends can bring a confidence and courage unmatched by individual resolution. Perhaps that is, at least in part, why the Bible places such an emphasis on community.
God has given me the most remarkable friends over the years. They have stood next to me through difficult seasons, major decisions, and change – lots of change. They have challenged me to stand firm in my faith when it would be easier to desert. They have loved me at my worst and see all that I could be – all that God intends for me to be. They don’t let me run for shame.
I pray you have friends like that. If you don’t, I pray you find them.
I pray you are that friend – for someone.