A sweet friendship refreshes the soul ...
People who won’t settle down, wandering hither and yon, are like restless birds, flitting to and fro. Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul. Don’t leave your friends or your parents’ friends and run home to your family when things get rough; Better a nearby friend than a distant family. -Proverbs 27:8-10
I have lived out this passage a bit and have to admit that I sometimes wish that I lived closer to my family. I even tried to move closer to my family in New Jersey when my first wife was very sick in the early 1990s. I wonder what Solomon's advice to me would have been back then? Perhaps he would have echoed his sentiments in this proverb and advised me to stay put and settle down? Life is sometimes like that because we can only grow stronger when our roots go deep.
I love the phrase "a sweet friendship refreshes the soul". I have experienced such refreshing in many of my lowest and darkest days. Not long ago I had lunch with a friends that absolutely turned my day around. There is something so very special about friends who encourage and refresh. Yet I think that it is so hard to find such friends if you do not stay in one place very long. Cultivating sweet friendships often takes years and involves spending much time with each other.
Lord, help us to be friends that refresh. Teach us to be vulnerable to those closest to us.