“This World Is Not My Home” is a classic hymnal that is often sung in our congregation and many congregations the world over. The song is inspiring and has a melody that impacts our souls; hence, it is to be a favorite hymn among many. The words we sing confirm that there is something better in our lives to look forward to, but there is one phrase in this hymn that I would like for us to carefully consider. The phrase is “O Lord, you know I have no friend like you,” which is found in the chorus.

How do we define a friend? If we were to define it from the dictionary, we would see that a friend is “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.” So, a friend is that special someone who we can share our most intimate secrets and confide our personal weaknesses and failures. Someone who we call a friend is one who is there to comfort us when we feel that we have nowhere else to turn, who will cry with us when we are in pain, and who will rejoice with us when we are happy. A friend is someone who will tell us the truth even when we do not want to hear it and who will correct us when we are on the wrong path. Our best friend is most likely a person who exhibits a combination of all these traits.

Now, consider the difference between someone who is an acquaintance and someone who is a friend. There are people we do things with or talk to that we do not consider our friends. There are people that we care about who are not our friends, but are only acquaintances. An acquaintance is generally defined as a person known to one, but usually not a close friend. There are many people such as coworkers, schoolmates, neighbors, and even many Christians who are only acquaintances. We do not give the title “our friend” to everyone we encounter.

Now think about the words of this song, “O Lord, you know I have no friend like you.” These words would have a different meaning if they only read “O Lord, you know you are my friend.” That alone should be very difficult for us. To say that the Lord is our friend, yes, means that He is special to us, but is HE any different than any other friend we have? Is there any difference between our friend Jesus and someone else with whom we share our intimate confidences? Do we first consider the Lord during weeping and rejoicing or other friends? If the Lord is just another friend, how much time do we spend with Him discussing our lives and confiding in Him our weaknesses and our failures versus other friends?

But the song does not read, “O Lord you are my friend;” the wording is stronger than that. The song reads, “I have no friend like you.” In today’s terms, that phrase means that the Lord is our best friend and no one could ever be a better friend than Him. Consider how far-reaching this statement is. When you and I say/sing “O Lord, I have no friend like you,” it means that…

  • We turn to God first in the times of sorrow and times of happiness.
  • God is the one who comforts us when times are hard.
  • God is watching the path we are on and is actively correcting us.
  • God is the one we talk to the most.
  • God is the one whom we spend the most of our time with and whom we have an intimate relationship with.

Is God our best friend whom we know like no other? Or is God an acquaintance, someone we know, but are not on intimate terms with? May we all be able to say, “O Lord, you know I have no friend like you!”

Glory to God alone – Andy