“I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother.” Philemon 1:7

Lord Jesus, a life of navigating storms, bearing burdens, and handling heartaches without good friends? No thanks. Sometimes we’re inclined to think, “No one can possibly understand what I’m feeling. Nobody’s as big of a mess as me.”

Those are the times when it’s easy to withdraw into isolation, fall into condemnation, and reach for some ill-chosen medication. That’s when our grace-smelling friends becomes especially precious. These two well-timed words, “Me too,” have often been an elixir of grace, a kiss of mercy—even more desirable than an angelic visitation.

Thank you for friends who remind us of the truth of the Gospel, and the bigger story you’re always writing. Friends who offer tears, not just answers; brokenness-birthed wisdom, not taken-out-of-context verses. Friends from whom we “derive joy and comfort,” with whom we can watch sunsets, and seek the Son; for whom it’s easy to drop everything to play or pray.

These cherished friendships turn our heart heavenward. They remind us that the Gospel is foundation and fountain of all good friendship. What more do we need than to hear you say to us, “I no longer call you servants; I call you friends” (John 15:15)?

May this be a week of relishing and reveling in your friendship with us, Jesus; and extending it to others. So very Amen we pray, in your kind and faithful name.