For many of us, this week is dedicated to celebrating love. Kids are handing out those popular Valentine cards filled with goodies, flowers and chocolate can be found on every store shelf, and Cupid is making his rounds. I’m sure you are all expecting me to talk about my marriage. After all, we are finishing our series on friendship and Dave is, without doubt, one of my most favorite people. But, no, I will not be talking about my husband today.
At 20 months old I was introduced to my very first friend. She’s a bit younger than I am but our interests, our hobbies, our sense of humor, and our moral codes are nearly the same. We think identically, we talk alike, we even look similar because… we are sisters!
As far back as my memory reaches, Becky (and Alisha, the youngest of our sisterhood, too!) has been one of the most important people in my life. In our childhood years we had separate rooms, yet somehow always ended up sleeping together. When we went to college we choose to keep our roommate status and, after Dave and I bought our first home, Becky also moved in and lived with us.
We share secrets. She knows my hurts and my joys. And, even as adults, we can still catch a good case of the giggles. We love each others children as our own, and our husbands know that to separate us would be a painful task! That’s not to say that we haven’t had our share of ups and downs, but the love between us has never once been questioned.
Proverbs 18:24 says: One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
I find this verse intriguing because I can’t imagine anyone ever sticking closer to me than my sisters. Anyone that is but Jesus. Jesus is God’s Son. The Savior. The Redeemer. He is my teacher and leader. Can He still be considered a friend?
I know there is a huge theological debate around this but, in my opinion, I believe Jesus is the greatest friend of all. He knew us while we were still in utero. He has counted the hairs on our head. He sees into our thoughts and knows the far corners of our souls. He understands our heartache and takes pleasure in our joy. He is nearby in our loneliness. He is faithful despite our sin. He knows our past, is in our present, and sees our future. He is the only friend who will never leave us since nothing, not even death, can separate us from Him.
What a friend we have in Jesus! Right?
Now, to clarify, I am not saying that Jesus calls me His friend. In John 15:14 Jesus says we are His friends when we do as He commands. I’m pretty sure I have a long way to go in that department. I’m still working on obeying God’s directions and understanding His truths, but I try to make it my daily intention to love Him and to love others. And I can say with certainty that I do have the privilege of calling Him my friend. He has been and is everything a friend should be.
I’m still a work in progress – but I hope that, when my time in heaven begins, I will hear God say “Well done, good and faithful servant!” and will feel Jesus’ embrace as He welcomes me home… as His friend.
So I challenge you to pursue Jesus as a friend. Talk to him about your day. Laugh with Him. Cry with Him. Invite Him into the deepest places of your heart. He will meet you there, and He will never leave you. He sticks closer than a brother.