Thankful for Friends

Heavenly Father I praise You for creating us with the ability to choose but also for the need of companionship. Clear back when this world began You said we should not be alone. Christ told us that You would never leave nor forsake us even though we do that to You more often than we would like to admit. As I near Good Friday, and having played Peter in an Easter Play, I realize the crushing defeat and shame he must have felt after denying Christ. It would stay with him until the day he died and history records that he was crucified upside down at his own request for not feeling worthy to die like Christ. I praise You for being a Father who forgives, forgets, and loves us and demonstrates mercy and grace every day.  

Holy Spirit the wisdom that comes from the writers of Proverbs tells us that a person who has friends must be friendly also. I am so thankful for the friends I have had over the years of my life. I praise You for Jimmy who was there for me when my grandfather died. For Tony who got me started into playing baseball. For Jeff and Ron for getting me through Junior High and High School. For Jim, Clark, Melanie, Louise, Dawn, and many other classmates who befriended me through school, they made that time of life a time of good memories. I praise You for the close friends I have made as an adult, Darryl, David, Todd, Fred, Ryan, and Daryl who have stood by me through the loss of babies, getting married, the loss of Philip, living life and being constant prayer partners and accountability partners. They have never shied from telling me the truth even if it was going to hurt for a while. I praise You for the friends I developed from work like Butch, John, Dawn, Kari, and many others. I praise You for the friends I have come to learn, trust, and count on at church. I praise You for the spiritual mentors You have placed in my life also. I am most grateful for my wife who is my ultimate friend and has stood by me through cancer twice, blood clots, being septic twice, having and rearing children, lost pregnancies at 23 weeks, losing Philip, changing jobs, and all of life. God has blessed me to not be alone.  

Therefore, let me not sleep as others do. But let me be alert and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But let me, who is of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed me to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for me, so that whether I am awake or asleep, I will live together with Him. So, I will comfort myself, and edify my brothers and sisters. I will acknowledge those who labor around me, and/or are appointed over me in the Lord, and instruct me. I will esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among the members of the body of Christ. I have been exhorted, to warn those who are unruly, comfort the faint-hearted, support the weak, and be patient toward everyone. I will not render evil for evil to anyone. But always seek to do good to others. I will rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me. I will not quench the Spirit. Nor will I despise prophecies. I will examine all things. Firmly hold onto what is good. Abstain from all appearances of evil. May the very God of peace sanctify me completely. And I pray to God that my whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. For I know that faithful is He who calls me, for He also will do it. Amen. 1 Thessalonians 5:6-24