For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Philemon 1:7
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Eccles. 4:9-12
Heavenly Father, I cannot imagine how storms can be navigated, burdens borne, and hardships handled without the company of a few good friends. I praise you today for the gift of friendship—for the joy, encouragement, and refreshment you give me through my friends.
When we walk through difficult and draining seasons, we’re inclined to think, “No one can possibly understand what I’m going through. Nobody can relate to my feelings and confusion. Everyone would handle this mess much better than I am.”
Those are the times when it’s easy to withdraw into isolation, fall into the pit of condemnation, and reach for some ill-chosen medication. That’s when the gift of long-standing, all-weather, burden-bearing friends becomes especially precious.
Father, I praise you for the gift of hearing my friends say these two words: “Me too.” I praise you for friends who know how to “refresh the hearts of the saints”—including this saint. I praise you for friends who remind me of the truth and power of the gospel, of the love of Jesus, and of the bigger story you are always writing.
I praise you for friends who share their lives and not just their gospel. I praise you for friends who offer tears and not just their answers. I praise you for friends who give life-giving wisdom and not just mess-fixing formulas.
Father, my all-weather friends turn my heart heavenward. They simply remind me that the foundation and fountain of all good friendship is found in the gospel. It’s overwhelming, settling, and centering to hear Jesus say to us, “I no longer call you servants… I call you friends” (John 15:15). Indeed, Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24).
What wondrous love is this, indeed? “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Hallelujah, what a salvation! Hallelujah, what a Savior! So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ most glorious and gracious name.