Do you know what a “foxhole” is? A foxhole, is basically a shallow hole in the ground. It was introduced during World War II and provided protection from oncoming artillery for one or two people. As I read through Romans chapter 16, I couldn’t help but think back to a sermon I heard about 10 years ago by a Pastor who has since left our church. The sermon, titled “Foxhole Friends”, certainly left a lasting impression and has challenged me to look at friendships from a completely different perspective. Throughout the 16th chapter of Romans, Paul specifically mentions the men and women who worked with him to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. While Paul and these people were working to spread the gospel, others were working against them to make sure the message didn’t get through (v. 17 – 18).
From this chapter, it appears Paul had several “foxhole friends” he could count on to be “in the trenches” fighting battles that needed to be fought. That primary battle of course was spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the known world of their day. This was not an easy task. Persecution was widespread. Paul wrote four of his letters (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon) from a prison cell yet still continued to preach the word.
So the question becomes, who is in the foxhole with you? Is it someone you can trust to help and encourage you along your journey? Or is it someone who tries to divert you from your purpose? Do they accept you for who you are and out of genuine concern tell you the truth to help you grow? Or do they tell you what you want to hear?
Who would you consider your “foxhole” friends? Remember a “foxhole” friend is someone you know has your back no matter what… 2:00 in the morning – whatever it takes… they are there. Do you have someone like that in your life?
I like the way Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT) puts it best “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”