Sunday, April 14, 2013
Ever had that experience where you see a good movie, eat a great meal, witness something outlandish, hear a funny joke, read a good book? Ever ponder what goes through your mind immediately following that experience? For me, it’s usually, “Oh my gosh! I have got to tell….” Insert the names of your of best friends forever and you get the picture.
It’s something, the power of friendship. It’s true that no man is an island. We weren’t meant to live in isolation. From the beginning of time when God created man in His image and likeness, His foremost desire was to be in relationship with him. Throughout the Old Testament, you see God and His friends: God and Adam walking in the cool of the day. God revealing Himself to Moses in the burning bush and their ensuing friendship on Mount Sinai as the Lord allows His goodness to pass before him. Then there was Enoch. A friendship so passionate that God took him because he couldn’t stand being without him (ref. Genesis 5:24). And what about God and Abraham? Theirs was a friendship so vulnerable and transparent that God shared His secrets with him, altered His own plans based on Abraham’s wisdom, and subsequently built an entire race of chosen people from his seed (ref. Gen. 18: 20-33; Gen. 22:13-18). I’d be remiss to leave out the friendship of God and David. A friendship so intimate that God allowed David to experience New Testament realities under the old covenant.
If these men enjoyed friendship with God marked by vulnerability, transparency, risk, passion, and revelation under an inferior covenant, what type of friendship awaits me as a New Testament believer?
All of my life I’ve had this desire to know God. I mean really know Him. What is He like? What makes Him laugh? What makes Him smile? What makes Him cry? What makes Him sad? If heaven has a banqueting table, what does He like to eat? What’s His favorite wine? I wondered why some could draw near and others remained veiled. Is it really difficult to know Him? If there were a formula, I’d sell my soul to buy it. And yet, my very soul He already possesses.
So how do I plumb the depths of the heart of God and discover friendship for myself? By sailing the seas of grace and basking in the Son on the shores of His goodness, I’m allowed the opportunity to know Him as friend.
If Adam walked with God in the cool of the day, there’s a key in that for me. So I take walks with God, just He and I. We stroll the hills of my neighborhood together and talk and laugh. We ask each other questions and we listen. I bring the whole of me on those walks, good, bad and ugly. All of my fears, doubts and insecurities come along. My idiosyncrasies, vulnerabilities and transparencies show up too. I bring my worship, my gratitude, my hunger and my passion for they are as much a part of me as the other things and together, we walk. By the time I return to my door, my Friend has exchanged His yoke for mine. My Friend has shared His heart and I have shared mine.
In developing my friendship with God, I am more aware of His nearness. I know that He is always with me, but I also know when He shows up in a tangible way. I no longer dine alone, go to the movies alone, read a book alone. My friend is ever present to share those experiences with me. I do have to be careful sometimes not to laugh out loud or talk aloud as I sometimes do with Him in my secret place!
And while I still don’t know His favorite wine, I’ve learned a lot about what makes Him smile, what makes Him laugh, what makes Him cry. Like any good friendship, you never reach the point of knowing. There is always discovery.
Take a walk. Climb a mountain. Dance a jig. Celebrate in song. And invite the King of Kings to come along. Don’t be one who reaches the end of your life and Father God declares to you, “I never knew you (Matthew 7:23).” Don’t pass up the opportunity for Almighty God to know you, to understand you. Take a walk and share your heart. His heart is set on friendship.
©2012 Felicia Murrell