Your Best Friend

I recently had coffee with a very dear friend.  I’m in a season of weariness, both physically and emotionally, so I haven’t been looking forward to many things,   but I did look forward to spending time with this particular friend because I knew that I would truly enjoy our visit.  I knew that I could be myself and that our time together would be soul-nurturing.  I am grateful to the Lord for the friendships He has blessed me with, but especially the ones where I can “dive deep” easily and quickly, and feel connected in a special way.

It wasn’t long after that visit that I read a prayer from an early church father.  This is the final portion of that prayer:

Give me a heart to love and adore you,
a heart to delight in you,
to follow and enjoy you,
for Christ’s sake, Amen.

The image in my mind’s eye was a loving and nurturing friendship, much like the friendship I described above.

I confess that I do not have that kind of relationship with God, not at the present time.  Our relationship is on my terms.  I talk with God, but only when I want to.  I read the Bible, but I don’t take the time to reflect on what I have read and how it spoke to my heart.  I don’t spend time praying intentionally.  I take God for granted.

Most human relationships would not withstand that kind of neglect.  Most people would give up on a “friend” who talked with them intermittently, didn’t show true interest in their lives, and didn’t take time to listen.

But God is God and we are not.  Despite my actions (or lack thereof), God still delights in me.  In ME.  Why?  I am so unworthy.  Praise God that His love for me is not dependent on anything I do or don’t do.  God loves me and desires to have a relationship with me, and there is nothing I can do or say that will change that.  Because Christ died for my sins, because I believe by His grace, God sees Christ’s purity and perfection instead of the filth of my sin and my blemishes.  Thank you, Lord!

I love this passage from Zephaniah that illustrates how God delights in His children:

 “He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” (Zeph 3:17).

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a friendship a really special friendship.  I believe there are 3 investments that are required—time, trust and attention. Friends must spend time together to truly get to know one another. Friends must be able to completely trust each other; both parties must be able to vulnerably share who they are as well as the struggles they face. Friends must be willing to give each other the attention the other requires, particularly in the form of active listening.

I’m thankful that my eyes have been opened to see that in this season I’m in, my relationship with the Lord could go deeper in friendship. So what would it look like if I did those three things with the Lord? By His grace I want to seek a more intimate friendship with Him. I can spend time with Him everyday, unhurried time. Scheduled time. I can be willing to open my heart completely and totally to Him.  He knows me through and through.  Why do I feel like I need to “be” a certain way with the Lord? I want an authentic relationship with Him, where I feel no guilt or shame. Christ has freed me from those bonds! And I must be willing to read God’s word, to let God’s Word have a voice in my head and heart.  I then must talk with God through prayer, intentional prayer, and reflect on what I learn from Him.

I truly want this to be my prayer:

Give me a heart to love and adore you,
a heart to delight in you,
to follow and enjoy you,
for Christ’s sake, Amen.

Growing in Grace

 

1 reply
  1. Blumerlgrl says:

    This inspired me to reach out to a close friend who is very important to me and going through some tough times. However, She always knows who to trust and it’s a joy to see God work through her. I’m glad that because of YouVersion I found this website.

    Reply

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