Give me a word, Lord: THE SWEET GIFT OF FRIENDSHIP

Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

I woke up this morning with pretty much every joint in my body aching. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is because a front is moving through, and it’s raining. I’ve been able to predict a front for several years thanks to my arthritic joints! However, the other reason is because yesterday was one of the best days of the year. Yesterday was our annual Christmas candy making day. We started around 8:00 am, and we made candy until well after 8:00 pm. A few friends and family were unable to make it because of COVID and other obligations, but the few of us who gathered pumped out a whole lot of sugary confections! We had so much fun. We laughed, we joked, we worked hard, and we made mistakes. I actually forgot a pan of almond joy cookies in the oven while I was making candied pecans and answering a phone call. When I remembered, I ran to the oven, and as I pulled out the tray, the cookies slide right off of the cookie sheet and into the oven. I almost cried, but instead I laughed, and my sweet sister, Chandra, said, “It’s okay. I’ve got this.” She cleaned up my mess as I hurried back to the pecans before I ruined them too! Christmas candy day isn’t about the candy, y’all, it’s about the love of family and friends. That is the truly sweet part!

As I sit here reflecting on the day, I know that the best part of the day was late yesterday evening. We have been reading through the Bible again this year as a family, and we normally sit down around 8:00 pm to read. Well, 8:00 rolled around, and my husband said, “Time to read the Bible.” Everybody stopped, we gathered around the living room, and we read Amos 4:1 – 6:14, Revelation 2:18 – 3:6, Psalm 130:1-8, and Proverbs 29:21-22. It was so pretty heavy reading after such a carefree day. We briefly discussed what we read, and we prayed together. That, my dear friends, was definitely sweeter than a combination of all the sweet confections that we created yesterday. We enjoyed sweet, sweet fellowship in the Word and in prayer with the sweet people God has given me!

This is why God gives us friends and family. Two truly are better than one, and four and five are even better! There is no way I could have made all of those sweet treats alone yesterday, and it sure wouldn’t have been as fun. Two or more can definitely have a good return for their labor. I wish you could see all the sweet treats we made, and I wish I could let you taste a sample. The fruits of our labor were definitely sweet! Also, when one is down, the other can help lift the other one up. My sister jumped in and did just that when I dropped a whole pan of cookies into the oven! A friend will keep you warm, not just in the literal sense, but also warm inside. The kindness and love and joy of friendship definitely warms the heart! And no matter what, we stick together. We can not be overpowered because we are wearing the full armor of God together and for one another! We strengthen one another with our love for God and our love for one another. We sharpen one another with the Word of God as iron sharpens iron.

Yes, this morning, I am thanking God for friends and family, today and every day! God sure blessed me with some awesome friends and family, and I don’t think I tell them enough what a blessing they are to me! Friends are a sweet gift from God, and they are truly sweeter than all the candy in the world! If you have friends and family that work with you, pick you up when you are down, warm your heart, and strengthen you in your faith walk, well, Peeps, you have been blessed greatly by our Holy Father! Enjoy the sweetness of friendship as the gift God intended it to be!

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