We usually have our tagged ‘BEST’ friends. But I really don’t have best friends as such as I have a huge friend circle all over the world. I love them all and they love me too.

During my college time, I had a friend whom I consider to be the most valuable friend of my life. He was a friend in my need and was a friend indeed. I had never stood in the queue for either renewing my college bills or asking for any receipts in the counter and books from the library.  I never had to do anything as he was there for me and was doing everything for me considering my health conditions.

I used to feel amazed thinking, how great is God’s grace for me throughout my college career. He had kept an angel in the form of my friend even as His spiritual angels keep guarding me in the daily chores of my life.

My friend used to drop me as well as pick me up from my home. At times, we even used to go to tuition together. He had been such a blessing to me that I really cannot explain in words. We had many memories together. We had shared our joys and sorrows together. We had to part with each other after we graduated as we chose different universities though we didn’t lose contact with each other.

Finally, a time came when we lost connection as we started working in different places far away from our homes. But there’s one incident that I will never forget in my whole life which I think I should share it with you all.

In 2005, I had a credit in a shop which I was unable to pay at that time or had planned to pay later. But I became seriously ill that time and was taken to the hospital in Bangalore. I was discharged from the hospital and was taken to my parents’ home in Cuttack. I was on leave and in rest for 5 months.

I was informed that the shopkeeper is asking for money. I told my wife about it and we were in jeopardy, thinking what to do.

Finally, I had to take a loan from my friend and paid the man in full. But the irony was my debt was still on me as I had to return the money to my friend. I struggled to pay it back as I was newly married that time and had spent so much on my medical bills. I asked for some more time though he never reminded me of his loan to me.

It was a burden which troubled me whenever I thought about the unpaid loan. Once when I called him for more time, he replied to me sternly, “If you remind me of the loan again then we won’t be friends anymore… Just forget about it and I don’t want the money back anymore…”

Till now when I discuss that incident with my wife we feel grateful to God for giving such a friend in my life who had been a help in the times of trouble. It is really difficult to find a friend like him in this world today. The loan is still unpaid but it is not hovering over me like a burden but is stored in my heart as a bond of friendship.

I remember this Bible verse in Proverbs 18:24 which says – 

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

He is my most valued friend, who did stick to me like a brother when I was in trouble.