As iron sharpens iron,so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17
Growing up I moved around a lot. In fact from 1st grade to 10th grade I changed schools 9 times. I would start school with one set of friends, and end it with a whole set of others. Didn't matter if we lived in the same town - somehow we'd always move just slightly out of that school district, and there I'd be "the new kid" again. I remember setting on my bedroom floor talking to my father as he explained one-more-time why we had to move (he was in the Coast Guard) and I would cry and beg him to promise me this would be the last time. He never could make that promise, because he didn't know. As a parent now, I realize how that must of broken his heart a thousand times.
When you grow up moving around that much it's hard to make friends. It's hard to develop meaningful relationships when you're never sure how long you'll be around. You start to develop a pretty good outer-shell to protect your heart, and because of that you really don't make many deep friendships. Being a military brat is very similar to being in the ministry - I see now how God was preparing me - even then.
We need friends in our lives. We need people we can trust, we can share our heart with, and we can be real with. We live in a busy world where people are coming and going in and out of our lives so quickly. It can be easy to know a lot of people - but not really KNOW anyone. We think just because Facebook says we have 1,000 friends we're not alone, but really we are. God created us for companionship, with Him and with others.
I am not claiming to be a very good friend - in fact I don't really think I'm very good at it. I have to work at, being willing to put down that outer-shell I've built and invest my life into someone else. We need friends who will "sharpen us" like the scripture says, who challenge us to be better in our marriage, with our kids, with our calling. We need people who will be honest and real with us, and we can do the same. When iron sharpens iron there can be sparks, but the results are worth the heat. I am thankful for the friends God has placed in my life, and the investment they have seen fit to put into me. I can only hope that I can pour back into their lives like they have poured into mine.
I pray that whether you have one friend or 20, that you find rest in the "one that sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24)
God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16