The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes his covenant known to them. (Psalm 25:14)
You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. (John 15:14-15)
Jesus calls me friend. When I stop to really think about that, it warms me on the inside for so many reasons.
Friendship is a place of loyalty. A good friend always has your back. In those times when you aren’t around to defend yourself from gossip, or people who may even be plotting to do you harm, a friend will stand up for you. They won’t let you be slandered or harmed, if they can prevent it.
Friendship is a place of intimacy. A good friend knows you. I mean really knows you, in a way most folks don’t. They understand your passions and your dreams. And they support them. In fact, a great friend inspires those dreams and won’t let you give up on them. They are your greatest cheerleader and your fiercest defender. After all, they’ve invested hours and hours listening and scheming with you, so they too are interested in where life leads you.
Friendship is a place of accountability. A good friend won’t let you wander far off the path before they come after you, speaking truth, and doing it in a way that says, “I care so deeply for you, it is physically painful for me to watch you hurt yourself. Please come back. I am here for you. You matter. And I cannot remain silent.”
Friendship is a place of trust. And in trust there is great safety and peace.
Friendship is a place of fun and joy. It’s a place where you laugh so hard, your face muscles cramp, and you can’t catch your breath. A place where there are shared secrets and private jokes no one else gets; and where you see an image, or hear a line from a favorite movie, and you share a knowing glance. Or maybe you don’t – because if you do, you’ll burst into laughter at a wildly inappropriate time. And there is joy – genuine joy – in walking through life with a person who knows you so well, and loves you without reservation.
Jesus calls me friend. And when I begin to grasp what that means, I can let go of loneliness and the feeling that I’m unlovable or misunderstood. I can take hold of the blessings of friendship with a Savior who truly “gets” me and delights to sit down with me, over a cup of hot chocolate, to catch up on my day.