Close By – Man as Battle Buddy

“We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind.  If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.”  John 9:31-37 ESV

The soldier’s first article of faith is summed up nowhere more eloquently than in an 
1865 letter from Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant: “I knew wherever I was that you thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would come--if alive.” This is the unwritten, unspoken, but unbreakable contract of the battlefield: You will leave no one, dead or alive, in the hands of the enemy.
The life of this man who had been blind from birth was forever changed when Jesus healed him, but no one would believe him! No one would listen! It got so bad that even his parents were coerced into denying that an evident miracle of God had taken place. Those who should have had his back were nowhere to be found, and now they throw him out of the synagogue! If anyone felt alone and forsaken, it was this man…until Jesus stepped in. The One who had healed the man born blind saw his dilemma and not only observed his sorrow and confusion but reached out a hand of compassion, meeting his need. Jesus stood with him.
In that moment, the Lord Jesus embodied Proverbs 18:24, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Jesus gives men of God an example of what it is to be a Battle Buddy! He was aware of what this healed man was going through and was willing to be there, really be there for him when everyone else had turned their backs on him!
There is a world full of men who are struggling. Their battles may be emotional, financial, relational, or spiritual. They need a friend who will listen, give Godly counsel, and walk with them through the struggle, pointing them to the hope found only in the person of Jesus Christ, who is the “light of the world” (John 9:3). 

Men of God need a Battle Buddy; they need that kind of friend! Stu Weber 

A desire for friendship, man to man. A desire for friendship with nothing between. A yearning for friendship so real, so strong, so compelling, it is willing to share everything about itself and make deep and powerful promises. Down deep at the core, every man needs a man friend. Down deep at the core, every man needs a brother to lock arms with. Down deep at the core, every man needs a soul mate.
Just as Jesus was close by and stood with this man, we too must be a Battle Buddy to those men God has placed in our lives who need us! 

Do you know a man who is struggling, hurting, or going through a tough season of life? How can you be a Battle Buddy to him? 
- Do you have a Battle Buddy that you can lean on, reach out to, and count on when you need a friend in the trenches of life?
- Ask God to help you be that Battle Buddy in another man’s life.