what a friend...

have you ever been discouraged and had just enough heart left to call a friend?  that friend you just know will help you feel better... that friend that you've known long enough that there's no need for lengthy explanation or long-winded clarification (although he/she would patiently listen to all of that). that friend that will not just willingly be a shoulder for you to cry on, but will cry with you, as if they truly know and feel it too.   that friend that will just start praying on the phone.  that friend that will share their own story to give you a reality check.  they'll be honest and blunt while being loving and kind.  and you'll walk away from that conversation energized and encouraged. (*side note: we should all strive to be this kind of friend)

i am overwhelmingly grateful that i have 4 or 5 of these in my life.  that's a monster number.    if we each had just ONE our hearts would be happy.

oh. but we do.... and i'm tempted to use a very Beth Moore word here.... BELOVED!!
to know that we can, at any moment, run into our precious, best friends arms and find exactly what we're looking for.  but how often do we instead hold on to that hurt, harbor that resentment, cling to that bitterness, soak in the nasty, luke-warm, sorry-for-ourselves bath water that neither cleanses nor calms.
i know i'm speaking for myself, here but i also truly believe i'm not alone in this.

my personal experience is, just like David says in Psalm 32:4, when i resist the Fathers affection my strength is depleted.  when i accept His loving care of my soul i'm refreshed.  if i have surrendered my life to Him, not only am i His... but He is mine! my caring savior, my loving father, my very best friend.  in the same way Abraham was considered a friend of God (James 2:23), you and i are considered friends of God.

i need this reality often.  yes, i have a handful of precious girl-friends (including my mom and sisters) that i can freely talk to and share with. however, it gives me great joy and an overwhelming sense of relief to know what a friend i have in Jesus.

what a friend we have in Jesus
all our sins and griefs to bear
what a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer
oh what peace we often forfeit
oh what needless pain we bear
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer

have we trials and temptations
is there trouble anywhere
we should never be discouraged
take it to the Lord in prayer
can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share
Jesus knows our every weakness
take it to the Lord in prayer

are we weak and heavy laden
cumbered with a load of care
precious savior still our refuge
take it to the Lord in prayer
do thy friends despise, forsake thee
take it to the Lord in prayer
in his arms he'll take and shield thee
thou wilt find a solace there