One of the greatest blessings that you can have in life is to have both family and friends that are there for you. This proverb reminds us of those things. A good friend is a friend who loves you at all times. The reason this may be said is because we all are aware of the dreaded "fair weather" friend. This is the friend who is your friend when all is going well. These kind of friends are a dime a dozen - and even cheaper if you have something they want at the time. But how they scatter when things go wrong - or you need them for something in a difficult time of your life. The true friend loves "at all times." Just a note for us though on this matter of good friends. As my mother always told me, "If you want to have a good friend, be a good friend." Before we get too out-rospective bout our friends - we might want to be a little introspective on what kind of friend we've been lately.
The second half of this proverb reminds us though that a brother is born for adversity. Family is often there when everyone else leaves. When a troublesome situation arises - one in which all your friends can't be there - your family can - or at least should be. As a pastor I've watched this again and again. An illness or injury comes and families rise to their best in taking care of the one who has had the difficulties. A wife or child sits by a bedside through thick and thin - loving and caring for someone who is in the process of dying. To have such a family is a blessing beyond imagination. One of the things that I fear with a society that is gradually tossing the elderly, is that we will consider our older parents something disposable - something that just costs to much to care for - so "death with respect" is pandered as the answer. So much character and family healing has happened in these times that we will find ourselves infinitely poorer if we think that it is better to assist in our parents deaths - rather than lovingly care for them.
If you have family and friends who love and stand with you at all times - you are truly blessed. If you were not blessed with such friends and family - be such a friend and family member. You may not get all the benefits - but you may start a different trend among those you love. A trend that could bless among them for generations!