Last night I was giddy to the point of out loud laughter at a Facebook post on a friend's wall that turned into a heart-felt, fun-filled "conversation" between three of us who were just enjoying friendship. These are people who God has just recently brought into my life on a deeper level. Not that I didn't know them before, but through recent events and opportunities I've come to truly know them and, more importantly, call them friends. These are people who say "I'm praying for you" and I know and FEEL the genuineness in that sentiment.
As we bantered back and forth with our silly Facebook comments, having fun and teasing one another, a few posts were related to joy. At one point, one was even "singing" the Joy, Joy, Joy down in her heart with her post. It made me realize that through these friendships I am experiencing the tangible joy of the Lord.
"You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." Psalm 45:7
It literally translates as being covered or consumed with joy and gladness.
Even as this banter was taking place, I was reminded of a chat I'd had earlier in the day that was quite the opposite. A dear soul sat and shared the harsh reality of always being a friend but not having a friend. Oh, how I know this feeling. Yet another conversation and someone shared "I'm just lonely." I know that feeling, too.
Knowing what I know now I can confidently say that the true relationships in life are those that bring the oil of joy as an anointing to my soul. I'm also aware these are rare and priceless. What I also know is no one person can be "all things" to me. No one can be all things to you, either. People are put in our lives to bring us joy, happiness, laughter, companionship, even to learn the hard lessons of life together and sometimes from each other. While it's true these relationships are the tangible expressions of God to me, it's also true that only HE can fill my every need. Because He is my Creator, He knows every part of me. Including the places I never reveal to even the closest of friends.
Today I am thankful for the oil of joy being poured out in tangible expressions through people who seek to share His love in my life. And today I'm looking to Him for an outpouring of His love and joy so that I can return the anointing to those in my life!