I received this photo from a friend with the following caption:
“I took this photograph in Bettys Bay. It triggered the thought in me that…even if everything is dry and hostile, I always have you as my best friend”.
My heart broke as I thought of her experiencing a dry and hostile period in her life, and yet, I rejoice in the fact that she is my friend and that no matter what either of us are going through we both know, without a shadow of a doubt, that if one of us needs the other we would immediately stop whatever we were doing, for however long we were needed, and be there at each other’s side.
Proverbs 18:24 says “…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Jesus is that friend.
If my earthly friend and I can feel the way we do about our friendship, how much more must Jesus feel about His friendship with us!
In John 15:15 & 16 Jesus says “…I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last”
Jesus placed this friend in my life many years ago and the years to date have been filled with huge tragedy and heart ache, pain that no person should have to carry but it has also been filled with much laughter and joy as my friend and I have cried together, laughed together, sat in silence together – as we have learnt more and more about each other over the years and our friendship has borne much fruit – honesty, trustworthiness, loyalty, a deep abiding love.
We both know we are not perfect (far from it in fact) but that makes no difference – we have never judged each other. We sometimes differ on our belief systems but it doesn’t matter and makes for some interesting conversation! We love each other despite all the faults and differences.
Just as Jesus loves us – warts and all!
We communicate and share our philosophies with each other with no fear of being rejected or made fun of. Our friendship has grown deeper the more we have learnt about each other.
As I reflected on our earthly friendship, I couldn’t help but think that this is the same friendship Jesus wants with us.
He wants honesty and transparency, He wants us to run to Him when we are feeling devastated or when we are feeling joy, He wants us not to live in fear of His judgement but to grow more and more into His likeness as we get to know Him deeper.
He wants us to communicate with Him on a level that goes far beyond the superficial.
He wants us to know that His heart breaks for us when we are going through ‘dry and hostile’ times.
“Knowing God is more than knowing about Him; it is a matter of dealing with Him as He opens up to you and being dealt with by Him as He takes knowledge of you”. J.I. Packer
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13
Jesus laid down His life for us.
Photo Credit: A precious friend