"A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad." ~Arnold H. Glasgow
"The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you." ~Elbert Hubbard
Lately, I've been immensely blessed by the friendships God has granted my life. It seems that every day is another encounter with someone who encourages me, lifts me up, laughs with me, sympathizes with my piddly disappointments and rejoices in my silly small victories (like going to the gym when I say I'm going to go, haha).
Sometimes, singleness is a lonely place -- but recently, I've been overwhelmed by an avalanche of wonderful friends. I have been reminded that I have a God who knows my needs before they're even spoken and meets those needs in extravagant ways I can't begin to anticipate. I use the word "extravagant" because the people who are doing life with me right now are ... they're just amazing.
Sometimes amazing is defined by text messages and hilarious emails and inside jokes and not allowing miles to mean distance. Sometimes amazing looks like coffee dates and steak cookouts and jewelry parties and sister shopping. Sometimes amazing is hearing the yucky-ness of my life, thoughts, and heart, and still loving me unreservedly because you believe that I am, deep down, completely worthy of that love.
Last Sunday, the message was centered around the "Restoration" component of the Gospel. One of my favorite concepts was that God is not eventually going to restore the world to Himself; He is, in fact, doing that already. It's already begun. He's been writing The Story (this totally reminds me of Miller's book) and I am already a part of it. The speaker challenged us to consider beautiful, breath-catching moments in nature -- and if they're that beautiful now, how much more so will they be when the Restoration is complete? If you have friendships that remind you of grace and truth already -- how much more will they do so when they are completely unhindered by human selfishness and the trappings of sin? Jim Thompson's message is linked here, if you'd like to hear more. I can't really do it justice in a paragraph :)
I was reminded of the sermon because, in all honesty, the past week has been so full of friend-encouragement that I feel like I've tasted a little of the future Hope I've been promised in Revelation 21 and 22. I feel more-than-thankful. Much more.
Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend. ~Plautus