THE LORD OUR FRIEND
Abraham was the first in the bible to be called a friend of God. Abraham shared time with God and welcomed God into His home to have a meal.
The Lord called Abraham His friend and conferred with Him over important matters. The description of their relationship as a friendship elevated Abraham and indeed all of mankind into the rarified position of being a species that could be counted on to be a friend of the eternal and majestic God of creation.
Jesus, soon before He died, also called His disciples friends and in doing so, ascribed to them an astonishing ranking of being able to conduct a friendship with the King of kings and Lord of lords.
What is a friendship in familiar terms? When we have a network of people we know, we tend to categorize them into three groups.
The most distant from us are those we know and recognize but we are barely aware of their existence and have only occasional contact with them. We are generally friendly towards them and they towards us but if we never saw them again, we would not notice their absence right away. Maybe an event would remind us of them but other than that, only faint recollections exist.
The next level in are those we are well aquainted with. We enjoy their company and we talk to them comfortably. We generally share knowledge of the same people and sometimes, we can detect that closer ties with them are possible as time passes. In this group, people both drift outwards to the outer circle while others draw into the inner circle.
That brings us to the closest group: Our friends. These are people we think about a lot and interact with all the time. We have learned to trust them as we have experienced their sensibilities and personalities. We have counted on them and they have come through for us even at great cost to themselves. We would do anything to help them. We gladly overlook their mistakes and readily forgive them. We divulge our vulnerabilities to them and they to us. We keep their confidence and they keep ours.
A friendship with God would share all the characteristics that our natural human friendships have.
Over time, we learn to trust Him and He gains trust in us as we grow in the ability to hear him and adhere to His guidance. As we mature in our friendship with Him, He begins to rely on us more and more to care about the things He cares about.
A friendship with God also includes keeping things in confidence. He gives us access to His thoughts and plans and we cherish them and store them away in the secret places of our hearts like Mary did when she was given the news of God's plan for Jesus. Likewise, God keeps our confidence and He shields us from humiliation and He himself keeps no record of wrongs.
A friendship with God comes with a level of contact with Him. As we think of Him and seek his company often, He too thinks of us frequently. In fact, Psalms 139 says that the number of God's thoughts towards us outnumber the grains of sand.
He draws near to us and seeks our company as we draw near to Him and seek His company.
Friendship with God is a wonderful thing and it must be cherished in the same way great friendships are treasured. Take nothing for granted and love the Lord our God with all our hearts.