Other than the Christ child Himself, or our immediate family members, perhaps there are no more precious gifts than close friends. A close friend is someone who knows you well, and for some hard-to-figure-out reason, loves you anyway.
A friend gives you his or her presence in the good times as well as the bad. If you’re hurting and can’t sleep, this is someone you can call at 3:00 a.m. and you know he or she won’t mind. When you’re despondent, God often incarnates His unconditional love for you through this person or couple. Indeed, as Proverbs 17:17 puts it, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Take your special friends a homemade dessert this Christmas. Or take them out to dinner. Or take them a stocking stuffer. Or take them for a drive through the subdivision in your town known for its Christmas light display. Or take them before the throne of grace with your intercessions.
Just don’t take them for granted.
Here’s a Christmas poem I wrote in 2002 for David and Esther Lloyd-Jones. So grateful to God for our 42 years of friendship. Next to my bride of 47.5 years, no one has put up with me longer than these two dear ones. I sincerely hope these words enhance your appreciation for the special friends in your life.
Gifts nestled under limbs, basking in lights’ glow.
They listen to Christmas hymns on disk or radio.
Clothed in red or green or gold. Proud of perfect bow.
Presents that someone sold with a jolly “Ho-Ho-Ho.”
Pick one up. Feel its weight. Shake the box, and guess.
On Christmas morning its fate is to surprise and bless.
Fingers poking in each box. The floor a cheery mess.
Soon the scented house rocks. Warm hearts whisper, “Yes!”
Yet far more precious gifts come wrapped in human skin.
Their companionship uplifts. They are blood-bought kin.
Their presence instills cheer as we lounge in the den.
Not for show just once a year: there through thick and thin.
Purchased not with cards or change. These items do not break.
There is no gift exchange. My choice was no mistake.
Not like a toy, or clothes I wear. Their worth can’t be measured.
A lifetime warranty is there. They’ll be forever treasured.
*Think of a few individuals you consider close friends. Thank God for bringing them into your life.
*Are you aware of needs in their lives that you can pray for today? Call and tell each person you prayed for him or her.
*What is something you can say, write, or do this month to express your love and appreciation to them?