Like many, I was fortunate to have loving Christian parents. Jesus was introduced to me in Sunday school through friends, fun, songs, and adventure stories, but like most naïve children I was too preoccupied to sincerely grasp His profound grace and sacrifice for all of us. Life moved on, I matured in the baby-boomer world with all its trappings. The “Footprints in the sand” message tells of Jesus’ carrying us from time to time—forty years for me.
It was an autumn Sunday morning in the early 80’s when I, at that time a married father of three, answered an altar call from our kindly minister who seemed bewildered with my impromptu spiritual motivation, “I’m looking for a friend.” The moment came and went, I was left spiritually unchanged.
Again another twenty years passed until my next altar call experience in a very different church. Later that same afternoon I e-mailed the pastor offering my thanks and friendship. A week later Pastor Brent met me at a coffee shop and we talked about Jesus, family, and life issues. Prior to this, I’d rarely talked about Jesus in public, much less meet a preacher in a coffee shop like a friend. Within a year, helped by the rich fellowship and prayers of the pastor and many new Christian friends, my life was back on the right track.
However the story is not of these friends but of one far more wonderful, who was my friend before I was born. From a mature educated and experienced man’s perspective, I am deeply thrilled and thankful that recently God “recalled” me to accept Jesus anew as my Lord and Savior. I now fully realize that all along I truly did “have a friend in Jesus.” Talking with Him every hour, now makes my Spirit brighter, my step quicker, my life more meaningful, and His will my primary concern. This is a friendship beyond any I’ve enjoyed or imagined, and I want nothing more than to share His friendship with everyone.
“Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being, the old is gone the new has come. All this is done by God who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also. Our message is that God was making all human beings his friends through Christ. (II Cor. C5 v17-19, TEV)