My Friend

There are many levels of friendship – mere acquaintances, people for whom we feel some affection, those we are tied to with loyalty, those that we love to do life together with. And sometimes, we are blessed with such intimacy in a friend that we can be our truest selves, reveal our ugliest faces and still be loved.

This can be a sore subject, for perhaps in the naming of such a friendship we are reminded that we may not have someone like this. For many of us, we yearn to be known and loved for who we are, despite the scars we wear. And even in the best of friendships, there will always be limits, for we are all imperfect and fallible people.

And yet, beloved, we already have such a true, kind and noble friend in Jesus.

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
  All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
  Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
  O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
  Everything to God in prayer!

(Alan Jackson)

With him, there is no hiding of our ugliness, no veiling of our imperfections. With him, we cannot pretend to be “good” nor can we only meet him in times when we are “ready.” He sees our insecurities as well as our budding talents. He sees the small ways we have grown and cheers us on. He sees us fully and he still loves us.

When our hearts overflow with joy, he grasps our hand in silent warmth. When the world has betrayed us, he loves us still. When others are too busy or tired to love us, he sits with us in the dark watches of the night. When our hearts hurt, his heart hurts alongside us. And when we have done wrong and are burdened with our own guilt, he speaks truth – both correction and forgiveness.

He is the friend of all friends. The question is – are you His friend, too?

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another. ~ John 15:13-17

Photo by Billy Pasco on Unsplash

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