October 23, 2013

Encountering God in Friendships - Day 23

Today is Day Twenty-Three of 31 Days of Encountering God! If you missed the kick-off, you can go HERE and find the Introduction as well as each days post! (I will be adding every day as the month goes on!)

Encountering God in Friendships...

How I love to be surrounded with friends - my people - who really know me, they 'get' me - and know how I am wired! They know my sense of humor or what moves me to tears... they know when to come alongside, when to give space, and always - they know how to pray for me.

I am blessed with some amazing friends - both in real life -in a let's-take-a-walk-and-have-coffee or we-are-overdue-for-a-dinner-and-movie sort of way, as well as across the blogosphere in the land of social media and emoticons, in mentions and likes and direct messages and Google Hangouts!  

 (in)rl meet up - 2013

I love how Jesus calls us friend!  He promises that not only is He a friend that sticks closer than a brother, but He actually calls US His friend!  That is such a picture of intimacy to me.  I love how relational our God is and I love how He just comes to us where we are at, often in the form of a friend!

To have someone be Jesus with skin on... who just cozies right up and will share a bench, and a cup of something yummy... who will speak life to us - call us out in love on those rough edges that need smoothing, encourage, build up, pray with... I love how He will come alongside us in friendships and He laughs with us and cries with us and encounters us best in some of our closest connections - both when they are good, and when they are hard!

Because let's be honest... not all (or any) of our friendships are easy... it's nice when it just flows and things are magical and kindred and no ones' feelings are getting hurt!  But what about when it is stuck, when walls are being built up and wounds are festering... when forgiveness is being withheld and grace is what is most needed!

Where is God then? How do we find ourselves encountering God then?  When friends have let us down, gone behind our backs and spread rumors, exaggerations, or lies... when the one we thought we could confide in could not keep a secret... could not have our backs... or simply couldn't care enough to stand up for us or take our side... we feel the knife slipping in and turning around... we feel the let down and the hurt... we feel naked, uncovered, sometimes all alone.

Can I tell you: God is with us even then? That whole thing where He promises to stick closer than a brother? Yeah - He meant that! He meant it because He knew that we can't always be the person that we want to be! We can't always be the friend that is needed.  We fall short.  We sin.  We give in or give out or give up... but He never does... He is the only Friend who will always be there... will always do what is best for us... who will always have our back and lift us up and push us forward to being the best version of ourselves.   We may consider ourselves a good friend - but we all fall short, make mistakes, hurt those we love whether we meant to or not!

The good news is that we really can encounter God through friends and friendships. We can learn more about Grace and Forgiveness, about Love and Letting Go when we invite God in to our relationships.  Some friendships are brought into our lives for a season, to teach us and grow us and make us better... and some friendships are more long term. They have lived life with us through ups and downs and with them, we hold nothing back! We are fully invested and while it is not always easy, it is always good because those long term friends have learned to love us like Jesus!  And when they fail... we have learned to love them like Jesus right back!

As I said... I am blessed with a lot of great friends... but my friendships haven't always been easy.  There have been hard times, long seasons of silence, and some friendships that simply faded away... But I have found that it is in the comfort and pain of friendships that Jesus walks right in and proves that He is the best thing we have going!  Whatever is heavy on your heart... He's got it! He understands and is there to help!  He will swoop right in and will never leave!  He really is the bomb.com and we couldn't ask for a better Friend than Jesus!

Linking up with The Nester and 1000s of other #31Day Bloggers!

So - how about you? How have you encountered God
in your friendships? In the good times, or the hard ones?
I'd love to hear!


  1. Thank you for being so open and honest about real friendship. Wonderful post!

  2. This is great ! Thank you!

  3. Anonymous10:01 AM

    This was beautifully written and I can so relate! I am grateful for my friends and so grateful that I can call Jesus my friend! You have such a gift for writing :-)

  4. So beautiful. So honest and true!


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