Loving God. Loving our neighbor.

Finishing Well With Friends

Scotty Smith

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. Heb. 3:12-14

Lord Jesus, this passage has made think about the gift of friendship this morning, and what it means to grow older together. I’m so grateful for the brothers and sisters you’ve woven into my story. Being an introvert, the journey of investing my heart in long-term relationships has required, and still requires, a lot of grace—grace you’ve been faithful to supply.

I’ve already gripped the handle of a few of friends’ caskets, and other friends will do the same for me one day. More than anything, I want us each of us to finish well in the gospel. What will this look like and what will it take, Jesus?

Jesus, I’m thankful for friendships which feel like a pair of my favorite Birkenstocks. Comfortable, weathered, and always close by. It’s a great gift to have a few friends who can finish each other’s sentences, endure one another’s jokes, appreciate each other’s quirks, and accept one another’s weaknesses. Surely, this is a gospel gift, and yet…

And yet, we’re still vulnerable people—each of us is capable of acting out in immature ways; and quite prone to forget Whose we are and Where we’re heading. Between now and heaven, there’s plenty of “rodeo” left in which we’ll probably experience hard providences and health challenges, family stresses and disruptive surprises. Grant us all the grace we’ll need for whatever you write into our stories. Help us be present for one another.

Jesus, all the way Home, help us hold each other accountable for believing the gospel, and free us to celebrate your goodness and sovereignty in every season. Help us take each other’s heart struggles seriously without becoming self-appointed fixers. And help us help one another to declutter our minds and hearts, schedules and backs of unnecessary baggage for the rest of the journey Home. Traveling lighter seems so attractive to me Jesus—even necessary, from this day forward. So very Amen I pray, in your all-glorious all grace-full name.

Finishing Well with Friends