A Neighbor Nearby


“Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.” Proverbs 27:10


If you were in an accident, who would you turn to for help? For most of us, the people we would turn to for help is our immediate family. If someone in our immediate family wasn’t available, then we would probably turn to an uncle, aunt, or cousin. Next in line would be a close friend or maybe a friend of the family.


If your family lived far away, where would you turn then? That’s a question Ilene and I faced with my accident. Even though her mom and dad came and helped us for a week, they couldn’t stay long term. My family was unable to come either. Who could help us?


Solomon speaks to this in Proverbs 27:10. This proverb teaches us to be sure we have a support system in case of emergencies. We don’t need to abandon our friends or our family, but if they are not close by, we need someone to turn to. The answer is “a neighbor nearby.”


The neighbor nearby for Ilene and me was our church family, we have received help from so many different people. Our pastoral staff, our deacons, life groups, individuals, and couples have provided food, run errands, and helped with rides to doctors and physical therapy. Without a church family, we would have been lost and helpless.


All around the neighborhoods of our church location are hundreds of people who live far away from their family support systems. Many of them face the calamities of life. While some may have some support from coworkers or friends, the vast majority do not have a church family. This gives us the opportunity to be that “neighbor nearby.”


I want to thank those who have supported me in my recovery, I also want to challenge us to be a church that looks for ways to be a neighbor nearby to people when they face a calamity.


I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.

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