Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.
I have been blessed to have many friends in my years on this earth. And the words of this proverb are true in many of those friendships. They have proven to bring true joy to my heart, friends who may not always say what I want to hear, but who love me with the truth that I need. And I am a fortunate man to have such friends. It is a great gift from God.
I have had friends deliver difficult observations to me in love. They have helped me live out good times and hard times. They have laughed with me in celebration, cried with me in loss, confronted me in my sinfulness, and helped move me on from stuck places as we have pursued following Jesus together. God's hand is often seen by directing my friends to me just when I needed them most.
Those friends are like a squad of fellow warriors to me. We fight sin, we prepare for the battle and hone weapons skills together, we rejoice in victory, we tend to our wounded when the battle gets the best of us, and we obey our Lord and Master as we worship Him together. What possibly could be sweeter than this kind of shared life?