“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:15 (NIV)
It’s obvious by the sheer amount of social media available today, that people are desperate to connect with each other. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or a slew of dating sites, we want to feel connected to others. This is a part of our created being. God created us to be in relationship; with others and with Him. As Jon Bon Jovi said, “No man (or woman) is an island.” We are not meant to live life alone. The good news is, our very creator and savior wants to be our friend.
So how do we “friend request” Jesus?
Just like any relationship, it takes time and effort. The hard part has been done. When Jesus gave up his life as sacrifice for our sins, he restored the broken relationship between humanity and God. By acknowledging that sacrifice, admitting you need grace and forgiveness through Jesus, and accepting him into your heart, you renew the relationship with God that was broken my sin. You have “friend requested” Jesus, and he was just waiting to click accept.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20 (NIV)
What happens then? This is where the time and effort parts come in. All friendships are developed and sustained by the investments we put into them. Friendships last because you invest your time and your effort into another person. A friendship left unattended tends to wither like an unwatered plant. In order to know someone better and be invested in someone’s life you have to spend time with that person, talking, sharing, and listening.
In order to build our relationship with Jesus we have to invest our time and efforts, just like our earthly friendships. How?
- We pray- We have real conversations with God about life. We share from the heart. We listen as God reveals who He is.
- We worship- We declare and exclaim who God is through our words and our praise. We say that He is our Comforter, Sustainer, Healer, Savior, Provider, and Friend.
- We cherish our time- We seek out our time with God with anticipation, not dread. We relax and enjoy our time spent speaking with Jesus. We pour a cup of coffee, tea, wine, or juice, and we catch up with our friend. We open a good book (Bible) and share a passage or two that touches our heart and reveals His to us.
The lesson I am learning as I struggle through my season (seems so very long) of loneliness is this: I am not alone. I have a friend, His name is Jesus, and he’s been there all along. Sometimes it takes seasons like mine in order for God to shape me into someone who is fully formed and rooted in His love and grace, not seeking myself somewhere else. God created me to need relationships, and He sent his son to fulfill that need. Oh, what a privilege indeed.
Today’s daily step is simply to find a cozy, relaxing spot to meet with your friend Jesus.
I want to leave you with the words of a timeless hymn that sums up what I’ve been rambling about, and it is penned much more eloquently. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” was written by Joseph M. Scriven in 1855 as a letter meant to comfort his mother who was across the sea in Ireland. I think it is a beautiful reminder of God’s promise that no matter life’s circumstances or how we feel, we are not alone. We need only seek Him. I am including the lyrics to the hymn and a link to a Youtube video of Alan Jackson singing the cherished song. I hope it blesses you as this week begins.
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.
Hope to see you for Day 12!