I’ve spent a lot of time on the internet, like you probably have. In that time I have come across a whole lot of blog posts, tweets, and memes that shed light on the realities of friendship. A few things I have seen that stood out:
Best friends know how stupid you are and still choose to be seen with you in public.
Good friends don’t let you do stupid things alone.
Hard times will always reveal true friends.
Friendship means understanding, not agreement. Forgiveness, not forgetting.
True friends stab you in the front.
A true friend is the one who sees the pain in your eyes while the world believes your smile.
Best friends make the good times better and the hard times easier.
Best friends are the people in your life that make you laugh louder, smile brighter, and live better.
I’ve seen these for years now. And every year I feel like I get better as a friend because I can identify with them. I look at those pictures with two girlfriends walking down a beach together and admire the closeness. Then I think about my closeness with you and feel good about myself because I know we’ve put in the work to become close. I read the memes and laugh at the humor, which reminds me of how you make me laugh. Then I feel good about myself because I know I’m someone you can laugh with. I peruse the blog posts that talk about how friendship is to be fiercely loyal and defensive and sacrificial. Then I feel good about myself because I know I try to be all those things to you.
But there is one thing I read today that did not make me feel good about myself or my friendship with you.
Pray diligently for your friend.
And suddenly I realized that I have failed you. Even in the presence of loving you I have neglected to pray diligently for you. Do I bow my knee to God for you? Of course. But all too often is it in the midst of struggles, pain, weakness, or just basic need. I prayed for you sincerely when you couldn’t find your smile, when you went back and forth over that big decision, or when you needed to find a job.
But I forget to bring you to God on your good days. I get so caught up in the happiness of friendship with you that I forget you need daily spiritual backup from me. And the best way I can think of to care for you is to cast everything I love about you before the Lord in prayer and ask Him to bless it, to protect it, preserve it, and live mightily through it.
My dear friend, forgive me for failing you so often in my prayer life. I am an imperfect human with the tendency to forget about all the little important ways to love you. But the Lord? He never fails. Never forgets. And He is quite good at convicting me of my need to become a better child of His and friend of you.
Starting today, I am adding you to my daily –momentary– prayer list. When my voice is lifted to Christ in the morning, He will hear your name. He will know my thoughts about you.
Above all else, I want the constant prayer of my heart to be that our Lord will knit us together through the power of the Gospel. That by His grace and through His strength we will become companions humbly yet fiercely dedicated to our own personal sanctification, our personal devotion to Christ, and our relationships with each other. All for the glory of our God.