I've had both kinds of friends ... maybe been both kinds. But, the important part for me now is to be a good one and to not just take friends for granted. But enjoy them and rejoice for them.
Today, Susan, who I have considered a best friend/sister for over 50 years, is having her birthday. Now, I've never wondered why God put her into my life -- it's been a blessing to me -- but I've often wondered whether SHE ever wondered. I had a reputation when I entered that high school, having just moved to town, as a "tough cookie", to say the least. She, however, was known as kind and caring.
We've hardly ever spent enough actual day-by-day time with one another, but it has been a special quality, whether staying near or far away. I can tell her almost anything -- and she won't gossip about it, or be mad at me, or reject me. I have tried her patience more than once, and even with a tiny bit of fussing between us, we are always able to forgive and forget almost instantly. She has loved me when no one else would, and she has taken care of me when I was sick [emotionally, spiritually, and physically]. We walked together through classmate situations in high school -- and everything from that point forward in life. Different opinions sometimes, different viewpoints. Yet, through it all, we have remained together.
Now, this friendship was not overly cultivated by either one of us. We just happen to have a love for one another that time and space and hardship hasn't been able to destroy. We don't neglect our friendship, but we haven’t had a lot of time to spend cultivating it. We just know that we know that we are loved.
|One of Susie's favorite flowers... and we love butterflies.|
NOW, God's friendship is similar to that in many ways.
-- God loves us for what and who we are. We don't have to put on a front or act phony (in fact, He seems to have a special dislike for the phony, hypocritical person).
-- Our age isn't going to make any difference at all with Him
-- He’s willing to start a friendship any time we are.
-- Distance won't get in the way, because He is near to our heart.
-- If we tell Him a secret, He won't tell anyone else.
-- No matter what we tell Him, He won't reject us. [He may not like what we are saying, but He will deal with us about it on a one-to-one basis; He won't blab it to the whole town.]
-- He won't let us be lazy about our faith or our growth; He knows just the way to keep us moving. But He will be patient and loving in guiding us the correct way.
Now, to close, one of the ways that this earthly relationship is different than the one with God, is that the earthly one must be cultivated. And, if we encourage growth of your human friendship through time in the Word of God and prayer, He will multiply and strengthen that effort and the rewards will be outstanding. He moves nearer and nearer, closer and closer – and so does the friend.
Thank you, Susie. Happy Birthday.