Isn't it great to spend time with our friends? Especially those people who we know God has brought into our lives for a special reason. I am so thankful for the many wonderful friends that I have who are always there for me. The ones that listen to my rants and raves and still want to be friends. Quite honestly, I don't know what I would do without them. Today I spent a few hours with a dear friend of many, many years. (Actually, I just stopped to figure out that it has been 23 years!) We have walked through a lot together - good times and bad times. But the important thing is that we have prayed for each other and with each other and celebrated answered prayers. Sometimes we don't talk for a month or more and lately, we only see each other every few months. When we do talk or get together, it is as if no time has passed and we just pick up where we left off. The best part of being together is knowing that she "gets" me! And I know that I "get" her! We understand each other.
Jesus understood about friends when he walked this earth. He had a close circle of friends in the disciples. And he had some close friends like Lazarus that he cared deeply about (and wept for) - that were not among the 12. Jesus even had a few closer ties with Peter and John, his beloved.
Today as I was traveling home from my friends house I was thinking about Jesus and friendship. The old familiar song, "What a Friend we have in Jesus" came into my thoughts......
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Oh what peace we often forfeit, of what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged - take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness - Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge - take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In his arms he'll take and shield you. You will find a solace there.
So many things in this world are pictures of the character of Yahweh. We can see him in all of creation and today I realized that we see him in these dear friends. Jesus wants to be friends with us in a deep and real way. He wants us to know that he "gets" us and more importantly, he wants us to "get" him. I am going to spend the next several days pondering exactly what this means for me. I will also be more aware of "Taking it to the Lord in prayer".
A good time with an old friend and also a deeper understanding of what a friend we have in Jesus!