It’s a beautiful day here in North Carolina and I love the sounds of the birds; there is a virtual symphony performance in the back yard. The sun is shining, a small breeze is whispering through the trees, it says 87 degrees on the thermometer and I am enjoying life from the perspective of a bug free screened in porch. If the perfect day exists, this is it.
I do miss my hubby but he too is enjoying his own special moments with friends back at home and we will enjoy a sweet reunion when I return to the U. P. next week.
Tomorrow my girlfriend and I head for the beach…Beaufort, NC to be exact. (Her husband heads out later today on a golf expedition; though we love having him around, his absence will cinch our “serious girlfriend time”.) Because I lived in this state for 25 years, I have great memories here. The ocean sounds and smells call to me and the beach gift shops are on our agenda. (I refer to that as “recreational shopping”.) I can’t wait to enjoy fresh seafood after a day of sand, surf and sun.
Earlier in my visit I had the pleasure of reconnecting with other longtime friends. Maria and David have walked though many of life’s experiences with me and although we see life through different world views, God has blessed us with an enduring friendship. I am grateful.
I then had lunch with a friend who was once a work “buddy”. There was so much catching up to do that lunch hardly gave us enough time. However, I was thankful for that precious reunion, as brief as it was. Our friendship spans many years and originated in the workplace.
I have other friends in the area and it would be lovely to see all of them. From attempting to do just that during past visits, I have discovered I go home more tired than when I arrived. None-the-less, it would be great if I could establish a time when everyone could come together in one place….maybe I need to work on that in the future!
The Bible talks about how we can have a friendship with God. Yes, amazingly, we can have a personal friendship with the God of the universe! (John 15: 14, 15) If we back up a bit in the book of John, verse 13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Isn’t that exactly what Jesus did?
So how do we enter into a friendship with the One Who created all things? How do we experience His presence in a personal way? It really is not complicated. God’s Word provides answers and the development of our “earthly” friendships provides clues.
How exactly did these longtime friendships start, develop and grow?
First: we had to have an initial introduction and a desire to explore the potential of getting to know one another. Is this not also a picture of how it all starts with God? We get introduced to God – maybe through our family, a friend, a movie or book, etc. It’s at that moment we decide whether we want to go farther. The encouraging part is, God tells us in His Word that He desires to have a relationship with each one of us. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says He created us with a desire to know Him.
Second: as we learn more about God, we come to understand His perfect nature as it’s revealed in the man, Jesus. Seeing God in human flesh, reading about Jesus’ birth, life, temptations and ministry allows us to get to know Him. (Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”)
Similar to how we develop close earthly friends, we develop our friendship with God. We communicate, we spend time together, we look to one another for support, we laugh and cry together….we love each other. Isn’t it the same way with God? The scriptures are God’s Words to us; sometimes I talk to God using His very words as they are presented in scripture. God is waiting to spend time with us….as with our earthly friends, we have to choose to meet with Him.
When life is difficult and the challenges come, my friendship with God, Who is sovereign and can provide so much more than any earthly friend, sustains me and helps me to look beyond my circumstances. I trust my earthly friends but because we all are human and struggle with sin, none of us is totally trustworthy. Not true of God…He made us and knows us more intimately than anyone. He is perfectly trustworthy.
God’s love is so incredibly all-encompassing; He is ALWAYS available. The moment I want to hear His voice and interact with Him, no matter where I am or what I am doing, He is ready to meet with me, love me, comfort me, speak Truth into my life and ultimately bring me into a forever, joy-filled, intimate, satisfying, secure, trusting (and so much more) relationship with Him for ETERNITY!
There are days I allow “stuff” to interfere with my “God meeting”. My Bible sits unopened for a time. Before long, I realize I am missing my Friend. You know what? He didn’t disappear, I did. He NEVER fails to be ready to renew our friendship.
Unlike us with our time limits, God can be friends with everyone! He desires to enjoy a friendship with every person ever born.
If you live within driving distance of Gladstone, MI I invite you to join me at Grace Church (www.gracemichigan.com) on Sunday mornings. Our services are at 9:15 and 11am. We are friends with God but also with each other through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We would LOVE to have you join our circle. ALL ARE WELCOME!