He calls you “Friend”.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”— John 15:15

Today is Valentine’s Day and I am thinking about all the things I cherish.

I cherish sunsets. I cherish a steaming cup of Good Earth Tea. I cherish the excitement of my dog, who runs to me, tail wagging, when I walk in the door. I cherish the love of my husband and kids. I cherish thick fluffy blankets and warm fleece pajamas on a cold winter’s night. I cherish my blooming crab apple tree in the spring time. I am fortunate that I can name these things and more, as things I cherish.

One thing I also cherish most are my friends. In a society and culture that values on-line friends and social media friends, I am particularly feeling blessed with real, live friends. Friends that can give you a hug. Friends that giggle with you and cry with you. Friends who can sympathize and delight in you, who can walk along beside you in your struggles. I can count on one hand the number of these actual friends that I have, and I wouldn’t trade them for a thousand Facebook friends! No way!

God has blessed me with wise, caring, compassionate, interesting, enduring, and strong female friends. Many of us are in the same walks of life with kids and family, transitions on the horizon, thinking deeply how we will navigate the next stage of life: older teens and young adults, empty nests, and aging parents. We can laugh, cry, share worries, share joys and accomplishments, pose questions, and wonder together about this journey we find ourselves on. We can feel the pain of children leaving the house, while feeling the joy of watching them follow their dreams. We can step into new dreams ourselves, new responsibilities, new relationships, and new activities.

I truly cherish these wonderful women God has put in my path! I walk each day knowing I am not alone, that there are people beside me each step of the way.

Not all people are this fortunate to call someone “friend”. But I am reminded that Jesus Christ does that to each of us, He calls us “friend”. He wants to know us on a more intimate level, He wants to share His life, His love, His compassion. As cherished beings, and deeply loved by God, He desires a relationship with us.

If you get flowers or gifts or candy today from loved ones, that is fabulous! Enjoy those special times! But if not, remember, there is One who cherishes you and calls you “friend”, who loves you more deeply than any words can express. And He is waiting for you to know Him.

Prayer–“God of love, you cherish me deeply and show me your love through Jesus Christ. Breathe your love and compassion into my life today, so I may know that you truly call me “friend.” In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

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