Wednesday, October 29, 2008

God's Friend

What do the following folks have in common?
Enoch, Abraham, Moses, David? They were God's friends. Others who might fall into this category: Daniel (who was called "a man greatly beloved.") Joshua (who was called "a mighty man of God.") Elijah (who wasn't allowed to die normally but had a chariot take him away.)

What do the following folks have in common?
John, Lazarus, Peter, James (Jacob)? They were Jesus' friends. Others who might fall into this category: John the Baptist, Judas Iscariot. (Yeah, I know. But Jesus called Judas a friend and who am I to disagree with Jesus?)

Let's ponder what being a friend of God means:
Obviously it doesn't mean life is easy. It also doesn't mean stuff happens instantly. Oh, God was aware of them. But maturity was necessary. And it didn't help matters that John said that he and his brother could drink the same cup that Jesus drank. These guys endured. God's friends learn to endure.

But something else: What does it mean to be anyone's friends? Isn't a friend someone who loveth at all times? Isn't there a friend who sticks closer than a brother? Oh, yessss! Jesus is our friend? What a friend we have in Jesus and all that! But are we God's friend? Are we Jesus' friend?

Do we love God at all times? Are we fairweather friends? Are we users? Do we come to God to force him to listen to our whining? Do we come to make him hear about all our sorrows? Do we ever ask to hear his sorrows? Do we ever say, "God, what are you sad about in the world? What would you want me to do?" Do we love God all the time? Do we allow God to be himself with us? Do we allow ourselves to be ourselves with God? Do we treat God as a personal friend or as a collection of dutiful behaviors? Do we make long phone calls to God just to chatter? Do we make short little phone calls to say nothing at all, but just because we want to hear God's voice?

Okay, back to that bitter cup John said he could drink. Can we drink the bitter cup? What if our friend wants us to do something very important to him? Will we do it? -C

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