The first episode of the TV show “Friends” aired on September 22, 1994—22 years ago! It has become so ubiquitous that it seems like you can’t turn on the TV without running across one of the episodes.
The theme song from the show is a reminder of one of the core values of the generation that grew up with it playing in the background. The lyrics are:
I’ll be there for you—when the rain starts to pour;
I’ll be there for you—like I’ve been there before;
I’ll be there for you—‘cuz you’re there for me, too.
While it seems like such a contemporary value, unique in significance to our time, Marlene Dietrich, pop icon of the 1930s and 40s, expressed the same core sentiment when she famously said, “It is the friends that you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”
“Will you be there for me?” This is one of the most important questions we ask ourselves.
In my own life, I am thankful that one of the core values that my parents taught me and reinforced over and over again is that God is there for us. I was encouraged to think about all the ways that the scriptures are a reminder that even when times are difficult, even when there is adversity, God has not left us alone. In fact, part of the reason my parents were so insistent about teaching us the stories of the Bible was to show that this has been true across human history.
From the very beginning of human history right up to this moment, God has made himself available to us. When we bow in worship, he is there for us. When we stop and pray, he is there for us. When we bring our concerns before him, our disappointments or the things that have hurt us, God is there and hears us.
When we stand up against injustice or evil, God stands with us. When we seek to protect the vulnerable, God’s protection is there for us. When, in healthcare, we seek the very best for our patients, when we seek healing where there is suffering, illness, or disease—God joins with us in what is thus a sacred task.
I truly believe that God joins us in our work, that he is present in everything we do, and that the very human moments that are experienced while someone is within our care are always under the watchful care and blessing of God.
In a world asking, “Will you be there for me?” I am blessed and proud to be a part of an organization that always seeks to answer that question in a positive way. Our ministry of healing is carried out within the care of a loving God who we know is truly there for each of us.