The writer of the Biblical book of Proverbs encourages us in friendship. “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. ” (Proverbs 27:9)
“A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
The bonds of friendship can be closer than those of family. One of God’s most precious gifts is to bring into our lives people who become our friends. The apostle Paul writing to the people of Philippi expresses his gratitude, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3)
There are certainly people in our lives, who when we think of them, it is with gratitude they have been placed in our life. The understanding doctor, teacher, employer, counselor, pastor or the kind clerk at the grocery store are blessings. For how would we have ever made it through the crisis, difficulties, trials of life without them.
Friends arrive first as neighbors, classmates, co-workers, brothers or sisters. However we met, friends are a gift. We never have too many of them. A good friend is one of life’s most precious treasures. Friends stand by you through the years, listen to you when you are not your best self and put up with you even on your worst days. Friends share our journey. They are aware of the ups and downs in our lives and though we may be miles apart, have a way of knowing when we need some extra encouragement. The sound of their voice is a welcome antidote to the blues. Their presence in a moment of crisis strengthens our hearts. We’re doubly blessed when our friends both pray with us and for us.
I’ve been grateful for friends to lean on in these last months. I’ve been grateful for listening ears, honest conversations, places to vent and the gift of laughter when kindred spirits are with each other. We may not be seeing each other in person, but the voice of a friend can lift our spirits, change our mood and instill in us a sense of worth and value.
If there is a friend you’ve been thinking of lately, could it be that friend is needing you to be the voice of encouragement, hope and presence today? Taking a few minutes to check in with a friend may just be the most important thing that you do today.