Today I woke up with this song by Israel and New Breed “You’ve been a friend“. I have woken up with this song a few times in the last couple of weeks or so. Each time, I’ve found myself wondering on my friendship with Jesus. How He’s kept me and been faithful. I have been part of those that danced to the song “what a friend we have in Jesus”. I thought about how often I praise Him for being The Constant in my life. Always there, always faithful, a Rock I can lean on at all times, forever catching me when I fall. You know the One who remains when everyone else runs away. The friend that we all long to be and to have. Today was different this song meant different to me and I think I finally got the message! Is it not funny how we often misinterpret the message. We are who Christ is to us to someone else. And today He was talking to me!
Ok, so what brought on this epiphany? Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with my ‘bible buddy’ :-).We’ve been studying Mark and BB shared a message that really touched my heart. BB spoke about the paralytic – healed by Jesus because of four men who were determined at all cost to get him his healing. These men defied the crowd and someone else’s roof (lol) just to let the paralytic through.
Where am I going with this? I have always thought of myself as a faithful person. One who sticks by a friend at all times. However, today, I was reminded of a friendship that had recently gone sour. I felt I had done all I could to keep things flowing and I was no longer willing to make excuses for my friend or go that extra mile to fix things. I felt let down again and I was not going to budge one more time…but today, that changed. When will Jesus give up on me? Never. When will He say to me “Arielle, I have had enough of your mess” -erm, never. When will He turn around and say “You hurt me so much Arielle and I cannot bring myself to love you again like I used to. You know, we can’t be friends like that again”. Erm that’s a tough one I think…no it isnt. Never. So I ask myself, why give up on my friend?Is it ok to change my mind about a friendship and say I can go no further?
Jesus says as I have loved you, love yourselves. If He shows grace, I ought to extend the same to my friend. This brings me to the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus. Peter denied that Jesus was his friend when he was arrested. I want to believe the Peter was afraid. We all do things for varying reasons, even those things we do not mean. I have been a peter at one point or the other to a friend or someone I dearly love. Sometimes, those that love us let us down and sometimes we let our loved ones down. I believe what is key is to look forward. I have made mistakes but what matters more is the desire to correct those things. I have felt let down by some friends but I believe they did not mean to hurt me. I believe my focus should be on where we are going and not on what has not been. And although some walls are more difficult to mend than others, what matters is that we try. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again :-)
I want to be like these men who did everything possible to get the paralytic to Jesus. I want to give my all to relationships so that in the end perhaps a friend will turn to me and say “O what a friend I have in you”. Jesus did the same for me and its my delight to extend this to my friends too.
I am committed to you xx