Pick a Verse
Off the Wall, Mar 27
, 2014

Not long ago, I received an email whereby I was asked to pick my favorite Bible verse and pass it on to someone else. I’m sure there are people that have only one verse that is there favorite, but in my opinion, that is cutting out a lot of wisdom that the Holy Scriptures has for each of us.

At times we each get into moods that bring about formations of attitudes. With them, our point of direction changes from thought to thought. We may have been very joyous at one point when we heard that Tummara Bulge had a baby and that he was the split image of his mother. Within ten minutes, an announcement comes over the radio that Jacob Esau, an orchestra leader, has just passed. The chemistry within us changes and we tend to be more solemn.

So, I believe each mood brings our choice of Biblical verses to different books, chapters and verses.

Just recently, I was toying in my mind the true meaning of who a friend really is. We all go through times when we think our brothers or sisters are our friends only to find out later that they are just people in passing and sometimes use us for their own gain.

Back in the mid-60’s when I attended Ashland College (now Ashland University), I recall my Spanish professor once stating, “You will have many associates in life, but few friends.” I never forgot that. A matter of fact, I have shared that others over the years and am still using that saying today.

What surprised me, when experiencing a falling out about two months with people I thought were my friends, I turned to the Scriptures for a little comfort. When I opened my Bible, a certain passage spoke to me. Found in Sirach 6:14 it states, “A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.”

That spokes volumes to me. I then decided to browse over the other verses and was overcome with joy when I read the sixth verse preceding it: “Let your acquaintances be many, but one in a thousand your confidant.”

God knows our every thought. He has knowledge of our emotions. After all, He created us. As we establish a bonded relationship with Him, He will help us get through times of this and that using His Word to comfort us.

I realize that many of you who read my column may not be Roman Catholic, and thus not have this book in your Bible. And there are others who may not lean toward the Christian faith. So, in all due regard, I want to quote some verses from this Scripture and let them speak to your heart as they did mine.

Starting with verse 15: “A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.” (16) “A faithful friend is life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds;” and (17) “For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will like himself.”

Browsing down to the footnotes, we read, “True friends are discerned not by prosperity but through the trials of adversity, distress, quarrels, sorrow and misfortune. Such friends are rare and their value is beyond estimation, a gift from God.”

After reading over the above, can anyone put a number to the amount of true friends one has had over the many years? Has there ever been thought given why we have chosen the friends we have, or is it a matter of “Well I guess you’re it” type relationships?

I remember a relative once stating, “No one on the outside can be your friend – only family members.” Surely this person’s attitudes were formed by adversities outside the nuclear structure.

Being back in the public’s eye at the Cooperstown Event Center where I sell photographic note cards and fishing stuff, I see many couples attend the Vender’s Market, many of whom are senior citizens. I can’t help but feel the bond Sirach spelled out.

My top verse pick comes from Numbers. I recall it being a favorite of my mother’s as well. From chapter 6, beginning with verse 24: “The Lord bless you and keep you! (25) The Lord let His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! (26) The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!”

What better way is there to bless the troubled mind than with these hope-filled words?

- Paul J. Volkmann
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