When I was younger I always wanted a best friend. One that was always up to hang out with me, come to every event with me, and one who shared my likes and dislikes. A friend that was there with me to the end. Yet as I got older I soon realized that my childhood friends were just that, childhood friends. They were not even close to what I wanted, or even needed, as best friends. Today, though, I know that I have at least two best friends, and though we don’t hang out or talk that much, I know that they will always be there for me. Yet, the question is what does friendship have to do with faith?
When I was a teen, and going through a lot, I remember hearing a guy on TV talk about how he found out that those who have that best relationship with God are those that first sought God out as friends and then family. This is nothing new for many of you, you have heard me talk about this a lot. Yet I feel like we have only begun to really dig into it, because there is so much to be taken from this.
When we look at God as a friend, I am not saying that God becomes someone that is only a part of our lives. Rather, I am saying that God is to become the friend that we know we need. Let’s take for instance this girl at my work that I have been working with in developing her faith. She has a hard time forming to the ideas and beliefs of her family, because she has found that she doesn’t get anything out of it. I have tried in helping her see that faith is a personal development with the god, or thing, that one believes in. So, you must look at what it is that you need from your faith. Now this doesn’t mean force your own wants or beliefs on your faith. Rather it means looking for the thing that you find lacking in your life, that thing that you need to hold on to in order to get through the storm and find it in your faith. Find it in God.
This also doesn’t mean that you are to form God into your own understanding or wants from God, nor does it mean that we only go to God when we want, or need, something. Rather, it means looking at where other people have failed us in our life. When I started looking at God as a friend, I started by looking at my past friendships and tried to figure out how it is that those friendship failed, what it was that I missed out on in those relationships. Then I let God fill in those holes. God picked up where other friendships left off. Yet this is not as easy as it sounds. It takes time, even years of development. It means not only looking in on our past, but also looking at our heart. At the broken pieces that lived within.
I once told a mentor of mine that when I started this development with God it was like God took all of my walls that I had build up, smashed them, and told me to make a mural out of it. I didn’t understand why it was that I felt that way at the time, but looking back I know what God was doing. God was showing me that in inviting God to fill where other relationship failed, I was letting God also show me a new image of who I am. Through developing this new relationship with God, we not only learn about what God means to us, but also how it is that God sees us, as in we no longer see that personal image of self that we bear because of past relationships, rather a new image forms from that development of a new and stronger one.
~ Pastor Jillian