Hope and gratitude: The value of friends - 23 February 2022

By Charlea Sieberhagen-Grey

Thanks to my work, I have made wonderful friends over the years. Unfortunately, I later moved to Cape Town and some of these friends remained behind in Johannesburg. Alas, one does not always keep contact with everyone, but technology has enabled us to stay in touch, sometimes weekly, sometimes I am able to chat to some friends daily, even though I rarely see them. Sometimes we send each other such l-o-o-o-ong voice notes about relationships or family news, or we simply talk about the highs and lows of the phase of life where are in.

The wonderful part is that it so often gives me the courage to handle the different challenges that come across my path. It helps me to remember that there is someone who cares or someone who will support me with advice if I do not know what to do in a difficult situation. It reminds me that I am not navigating through life on my own.

The above-mentioned passage is often quoted during marriage ceremonies. It is a beautiful passage and wonderfully emphasises the value of a spouse, someone who is able to help you up [when you are down] and who stands by you.

Indeed, this passage does not need to be heard only at weddings. It actually explains how important friendships in life are. It is truly a gift from God, one that he wants us to embrace

As humans, we are simply not made to function on our own all the time. We need people around us to help us carry the burdens of life sometimes. We need somebody who will be a willing ear, or a shoulder to cry on when things get tough. Furthermore, sometimes friends have a better take on things that you may feel your own family is unable to completely understand. They sometimes bring new perspective and honesty, and the joy that you can share with good, sincere friends is, in fact, double the joy.

I believe that we can also appreciate our friends anew this year and make an effort to grow our friendships. Indeed, friends enrich our lives – they add colour to days with jokes, support and fresh outlook on challenges. What a wonderful gift is it not?

Prayer: Father, thank you very much for the wonderful friends that you have sent across my way. Help me to cherish my friends and appreciate the effort that they make to cultivate these friendships so that I can continue to experience this joy. Amen