“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.”  Proverbs 27:9

Heavenly Father, though the oils and perfumes of our contexts vary from the writer of this Proverb, the sweetness of friendship transcends time, place, and culture. Thank you for the gift of “sweet friendship”—not like “sweet-tea”—offering a sugar-rush, then a predictable decline.

More like the spontaneous, elongated “SaWeeet!” we exclaim when a friend lands a big trout, “crushes” a long drive, or wins a multi-shot pickleball rally. Or the collective joy experienced when a challenging hike segues into a sunset no iPhone camera can possibly capture.

Or the sweetness friends savor when the “clock is off,” and conversation is unrushed, unforced, with both loud laughs and vulnerable tears flow freely. Or the feast-like satisfaction shared when friends partner in the hope of the Gospel, serving others, and depending on the God who raises the dead. It’s not always easy, but it’s always right and good.

And what’s the “earnest counsel” that brings the “sweetest” sweetness among friends? Father, it’s the counsel of your Word. Not pontificating at each other, but excavating the unsearchable riches of grace together—from Genesis through Revelation, always discovering more of Jesus, and the “much-more-ness” of the Gospel. Thank you Father. All good gifts come from you, so we look heavenward with gratitude. So Very Amen.