Blessed Are the Refreshers

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

Heavenly Father, I can’t imagine navigating storms, bearing burdens, and handling heartaches alone. A weekend retreat to Blue Ridge, Georgia, with Gospel-thirsty friends just reconfirmed this reality.

Sometimes we’re inclined to think, “No one can possibly understand what I’m going through. No one can relate to my feelings and confusion. 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 the gift of grace-soaked friends becomes timely and precious.

These three well-timed words, “I get it,” have often been an elixir of grace and a kiss of mercy, and better than an angelic visitation. Thank you for friends who know how to “refresh the hearts of the saints,” including this saint. Thank you for friends committed to grow in Gospel-astonishment, until the Day you send Jesus back.

Thank you for friends who offer tears and not just answers; their brokenness-birthed wisdom, not just mess-fixing formulas. Thank you for friends who can say hard things in a way that makes them hearable. Thank you for friends with whom it’s just as easy to pray as play, eat apple pie or feast on the Lord’s Supper; learn to watercolor for the first time, or learn to trust you for the 1000th time.

Father, cherished friendships turn our hearts heavenward. They simply remind us that the foundation and fountain of all good friendship is found in you. Thank you for befriending us in the Gospel. It’s settling and centering to hear Jesus say to us, “I no longer call you servants; I call you friends” (John 15:15). So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ most glorious and gracious name.