When I die, I would love for my gravestone to bear the epitaph, “A friend of God.” This is what God himself said of Abraham. (Isaiah 41:8 & James 2:23). And Jesus assured his disciples that they were his friends if they obeyed him and because he confided in them. (John 15:14-15)
Can I be so audacious as to claim to be a friend of God? What does it say about God that he would stoop to befriend a flawed human being? While some religions consider this either absurd or blasphemy, it is at the heart of Christianity. I want to be God’s friend.
In the human context, a friend is someone …
–whom I enjoy being with
–whom I confide in, including my joys, hopes, concerns, hurts, etc.
–whose opinion and esteem I treasure
–whose reputation I strive to protect and enhance
–with whom I share the most important values
–with whom I reciprocally give and receive good things
–who I can trust to act in my best interests
How do all these carry over into friendship with God? Very well, I think…
A few songs that I know revel in this wonder. Here are some lines that ring through my head:
“It’s so good to get to know You as my Friend”!”
“My God and I walk through the fields together…we walk and talk as good friends should and do.”
“A friend of Jesus—oh, what bliss that a sinner such as I should have a Friend like this….”