“As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”   1 Samuel 18:1 (ESV)

The Story of Jonathan and David comes quickly to mind with this topic. As we see in this verse, God puts people in our paths because He knows we’ll need them. Jonathan was just what David needed at that stage of his life. David was a young shepherd thrust into the spotlight. And based on some of his writings in the Psalms, maybe a little overemotional at times.

David was often overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy and depression, and being hunted by a crazy king. But Jonathan loved David, believed in him, and sought God’s best for him. Jonathan’s friendship was what David needed to grow into the king and leader he was to become.

Beyond common interests, affection and a sense of humor — the aim of friendship is to sow into each other words of eternal life and blessing. We remind each other of God’s wisdom and provision, refresh each others spirit and strengthen each others faith.

And having your soul “knitted to another” isn’t for the faint of heart.

It shows vulnerability! It means you bear your own hurts along with those of your friend. You cry when they cry and laugh when they laugh and feel like your heart will break when they’re not by your side. But it’s worth it because it causes you to love harder, laugh louder, live richer and become more than you could ever be without them.

Good friendships require walking with one another down some hard roads, losses, financial problems and much more. We need friends to help us remember what God has done for us and that He will be faithful. David says of Jonathan, ”Your friendship was a miracle-wonder, love far exceeding anything I’ve known — or ever hope to know,” (1 Samuel 18:26b MSG). That’s ultimately what God gives us in friendship: a real life, everyday miracle in the form of another person.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the friends You have given us to walk through life with. Help us to love the way You love. Thank You for knitting our hearts together with the people You know will make us stronger.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.