Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

A Brother Born for Adversity

Proverbs 11:7 - Provers 18:2

It was the year Josh was in fourth grade and Caleb was in sixth.

May.  Just this time of year.  A school day.

I was in my bathroom getting ready for the day.  I could hear the boys getting ready upstairs.

Then the banging began.

Loud banging, and yelling.  What could they be arguing about at this time of day, I wondered as I left the serenity of my room for the catastrophe upstairs.

It was as I arrived at the bottom of the stairs that I realized it wasn't an argument.  It was an emergency.  The one we had planned for, but prayed would never happen.

I could hear it in Caleb's 12-year-old voice as he cried out my name over and over, "Mom!  Mom!  Mom!"

Josh, in a diabetic hypoglycemic state of unawareness had climbed into the bath tub where Caleb was bathing, slipped under the water, and started to have a seizure.

Caleb, the older brother caught unaware, had done the smartest thing.  He reached his arms under Josh's, lifted his head and shoulders out of the water, and began calling my name.  I will never forget his tiny frame being knocked violently against the water spout as he held Josh above the water with all his might until I came running frantically up the stairs and pulled him out of the water onto the bathroom floor.

I won't forget the red marks already bruising along his spine.

I won't forget 12-year-old Caleb on the phone with 911 trying to direct the ambulance to our home while I gave Josh a shot filled with sugar, made sure he continued to breathe, held him so he wouldn't hurt himself.

Caleb, standing over his brother as the paramedics came.  Silent.  Watching.

He wouldn't leave for school until he knew his brother was safe.  Until he knew Josh was going to be OK.

That was the memory that filled my mind when I read this verse today, "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."  (Proverbs 17:17)

A brother born for adversity.

Wouldn't it be a blessing if we could all learn to be that kind of friend?

The kind that lifts another who is drowning.

Who protects them from pain.

Who seeks the help that will bring healing.

Who provides watchcare, and companionship, and loyalty.

A friend who loveth at all times.

At all times.

Even on the very worst days, through the moments you prayed would never happen, when the serenity of life turns to catastrophe.

The kind of friend Mason Canon described, "The person we all love and appreciate is the one who's coming in the door when everybody else is going out."

Perhaps today each of us could try to be a friend like that.

"Two are better than one...

for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow."

(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

Emily Freeman