“I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from My Father. You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” (John 15:15, NET)
Recently, I had an episode of Friends on the telly, when I suddenly felt the familiar tug for my attention.
I sat up in response to God’s nudge, and suddenly became aware of some huge waves of emotions sweeping over my heart. God, what are You telling me? Not even two minutes ago, I had been gut-laughing at an exchange between Joey and Ross. Now, I was suddenly feeling melancholy and a version of heartache.
As I tried to identify what it was that God was saying, I gave in to His prompting to reflect on the premise of Friends.
The reason the show appeals to so many, is because of our deeply-set hunger and desire for friendship, as humans. We long to have a safe place to belong, a community that we can celebrate with, laugh with, weep with and collapse into after a bad day (week, month or even year).
But as I continued to sit with the Holy Spirit, I realized that this desperation for friendship, and community—it’s not just the human part of us. It’s the eternal part. It’s part of God’s image.
We want friends, because God wants friends. God LONGS for our friendship.
As Friends continued to play, I watched with new awareness. I want to share life with you. With all my people. I want to be known.
“...I’ll be there for you when the rain starts to pour. I’ll be there for you Like I’ve been there before. I’ll be there for you, ‘cause you’re there for me, too.”
Now I understood. Friendship is a reciprocal thing.
God made us for Himself. To further His kingdom? Yes. To help others find transformation and healing? Yes. But first and foremost, He made us so that He could have friendship with us.
He wants nothing more than to sit down, without an agenda, and spend time with you. He wants to enjoy your presence, and He wants you to enjoy His.
I love the image of Jesus knocking on my door and saying, Well, today was a hard one. Do you want to order some pizza?
We have something to offer God. Ourselves.
So as I sat there with Jesus, with Friends playing in the background, I apologized to Him for not being a better friend. I smiled as He told me He’d always be there for me. And I hung out with God.
Warmly in Christ, Sarah Bentley
For Reflection: “I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently find Me.” (Proverbs 8:17, ESV)
Describe what it looks like when you spend time with your closest friends. How can you replicate that in your friendship with God?
A friend is defined as a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. What are two passions or interests that you share with God? How can you use these to deepen your affection for Him?