Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)
TITLE: The Friendship of Jesus
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The words of an old, familiar hymn begin with “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear.” This hymn speaks of Jesus as a friend, One to whom all of life’s trials can be entrusted. As I think about Jesus, I think about the wondrous joys of this Savior friend having both of these attributes together. As a friend, Jesus offers His children an intimacy that provides all the security that one seeks in other people. As a friend, He offers Himself to bear the burdens that weigh heavily on our hearts. While the disciples walked this earth, they knew that they were following Jesus, their Savior. Yet they also knew that He was a friend to whom they could entrust their insecurities and deepest emotions.
In times of loneliness in my own life, I have come to treasure Jesus as a friend more than I ever thought possible. As I place my loneliness at His feet, He comforts me and bears that burden. My cup is filled with joy as I trade my loneliness for His presence and comfort. He is there each and every time I bring my innermost longings and trials to Him. I don’t have to set an appointment. There is never a waiting line to meet with Him.
Recently I experienced this personally in a very real way. One afternoon after a very tiring day, I found myself filled with a feeling of loneliness. I just needed to talk to someone, to just have a listening ear from someone who loved me. I picked up the phone and attempted calling my dearest friends, hoping to find one that could come over and spend the afternoon with me. For one reason or another, the friends I tried to call were not home at the time. . After trying three phone numbers, I simply hung up the phone and cried out to God “ Ok Lord, it’s just you and me. I need your presence right now in a very real way.” I remember kneeling in prayer, just pouring out all my concerns of my day. Laying out all my worries before Him, I could see Jesus telling me, like He said to His disciples as He ascended into heaven, “ I am with you always, even to the ends of the Earth.” I cannot say how or when, but, the burdens of my day began to lift, and when I closed my prayer I knew something was different. There was an assurance that I am never alone. The loneliness was beginning to be replaced with the promises of God’s word. Such a simple act of prayer slowly changed my perspective from myself to the knowledge of Jesus promises in His Word. These promises are just as much a reality for me today as they were for those He spoke them too two thousand years ago.
Journeying through this life of emotional ups and downs, I have watched time and again that Jesus is that one friend who stays closer than a brother. While everything else around me is constantly changing, I hold on firmly to His constancy. And with the hymn writer, I truly affirm, “What a Friend we Have in Jesus!”
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