The close friends of Christ have found no other influence in their life, so strong as his precious friendship, in forming and transforming their lives. Continually before them in all its purity and spotlessness, in all its strength and heroism, in all its gentleness and beauty that fair life has shone, a pattern in the mount, let down from heaven, brought close to them, and winning them by its loveliness. The vision has hung before them continually, and has lifted them up. No one who has had Christ for a friend, in any true, real, vital sense has failed to be blessed by him, in the way of growth into nobler, richer life.
Gentle, sympathetic, strong human friendships can do much for us. You can tell me how in your life, in some time of grief, certain friends came to you, and how by their sweet sympathy, their quiet peace, their strong comfort, they helped you through some valley of trouble. But tell me, rather, what Christ did for you, in your hours of sorrow. When the shadows hung over your home, when your heart was bowed in grief, when a life dearer to you than your own hung trembling in the balance, when at last death came and your heart was broken what was Christ to you then? Was he not precious to you in those dark experiences? We find the best things of Christ’s grace and love only in life’s experiences of trial.