I've been going through a tough time lately. It seems like there is always another mountain waiting on the other side of the one before. We've all been there, where nothing is going right and we feel so lonely. Not to be dramatic, but recently I have felt like the world is against me and no one cares—until the other day, when one of my friends who is never serious and loves to pick on me, said, "I'm proud of you."
Wait, what? Can you please say that again? It reminded me of God's love and the way he uses friendship in our lives.
God uses friendships because he knows we need them. He places every person in our lives for a specific reason. Just as one of the most important friendships in the Bible, that of David and Jonathan:
“Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.” (I Samuel 18:1)
David was overwhelmed by depression and feelings of inadequacy, and Jonathan was there to encourage David and remind him of God’s promises. Friends are there to walk with us through the ups and downs of life: losses, financial issues, a new job, a pregnancy, and everything else. We need friends to remind one another of all the blessings God has given us and of his unfailing love.
My friends encourage me, hold me accountable, are the best counselors, and, most importantly, they pray for me. It is a gift God gives to us every day, in the flesh, another human companion to lean on. The book of Proverbs is sometimes referred to as the book of friendship as it tells us the meaning of genuine friendship.
“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
So, enjoy the gift of friendship. Bear your friends' burdens and enjoy their successes as your own. Make time for your friends, encourage them, build them up, hold them accountable, and pray for them. Friends make you love deeper, laugh louder, live richer, and reach your full potential; they are the very thing that keeps us going most days.
“I know there is nothing better than for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12)