Friends. Those are the folks we enjoy hanging out with. They add color to our lives in different ways through their personalities, interests, and our commonalities. “Friends make the world beautiful.”
Then, there are those who we refer to as close friends. Most of us have at least one. You know, that person who we could spend hours talking to, laugh with, be honest with, and can count on through thick and thin. I’m reminded of an episode from my favorite show where the boss had developed an “inner circle” of employees who he bounced ideas off of and spent time with intimately.
We see that in Bible, too. While Jesus was on earth, he had his Twelve Disciples by His side. They ministered together, they traveled together, and they broke bread together. But Matthew 26:37 shows us that among them, Jesus had three friends who He trusted so dearly that He asked them to join Him in the crucial moment of being in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Modern day language refers to such friends as BFs or our “ride or die”. I don’t even know where to begin with describing such friends. Instead, I’ll share an example or two. A loved one of mine has been dealing with a difficult and unexpected circumstance recently. I sought out prayer from my dear friends to intercede for this precious family (who they don’t even know) and immediately, prayers began flooding Heaven. One of my friend’s immediate response was to bless my loved one with blankets she makes for her business. The blankets have scriptures printed on them so the recipient not only feels warmth in their challenging situation, but also is encouraged by the truths from God’s Word. The very next day as I was packaging two beautiful blankets to ship to my loved one, another friend contacted me and expressed the desire to give something tangible and within hours, she had made a framed scripture for me to include in the package.
This took me down memory lane a few years ago to my dear friend who literally was on her knees by my bedside praying when I was in physical pain and asking God to show me how best to deal with it. I remember how another friend dropped everything to come pray for us in one of our darkest moments because we were numb from emotional pain. I’m reminded of precious ones who spent time with us when our kids were hospitalized by speaking words of life, praying over us, and blessing us with meals. I think of sweet friends who have spoken into my destiny and future when I felt purposeless.
These folks are a part of my inner circle. They are my ride or die. Not just because we can giggle like schoolchildren when together or because we cry with each other through our sorrows. They make me want to be better. Because of their deep love for God, I am encouraged to love God more deeply. Because of their strength, I am inspired to be stronger. Because of their faith, I yearn to have more faith.
Having such friends helps me see that I’m an improving work in progress when surrounded by those who challenge me to do so. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) In childhood, the focus of friendship was the more friends you had, the better you were. But as adults, having gone through some things, we understand that friendship is about influencing each other to be who God has purposed us to be. Praying you are surrounded by a great inner circle of friends!