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With or To?

Mom always told me if I wanted to have friends, I had to show myself 'friendly'. In other words, don't be closed off, aloof, or stand there with your nose up in the air. Go for it, put yourself out there, and be a friend to the one who needs a friend. That is what she modeled and I certainly took a long time to learn that lesson. Why? I was terribly insecure as a child - not really thinking others could ever like me because I didn't know that I had anything 'good' to offer in a relationship. As I cam to Christ, do you know what happened? God became my 'security' - he took all that made me 'insecure' and gave me what will always make me feel totally secure. He gave me his heart and his hand. As I took his hand, I experienced his heart. As I experienced his heart, I understood there was an internal 'anchor' that made me secure no matter what came my way. 

Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Become friends with God - he's already a friend with you. Not a friend TO you, but a friend WITH you. There is a difference, you know. I can be a friend TO someone by doing something nice and seeing that their need of the moment is met. I can be a friend WITH you when there is an investment of heart that goes beyond the superficial. God's intent was not to have a bunch of 'hand-holding', but a whole passel of 'heart-holding' friends! We are made new in Christ Jesus - all things put right WITH God. What does the best friend in your life look like? When I ask that question, you may begin to describe their physical appearance, but I would like you to begin to look at their 'heart' a little. Now, describe that best friend. Is the description different? Yes, because the heart reveals much more about the true 'identity' of an individual than their appearance does.

Think about how Christ came into this world. Born of a virgin, wrapped in swaddling cloth, laid in a manger. Born 'on the road', to a pair of young people no more aware of how to raise a baby than any other first time parents. We don't see much recorded about his young life, but I imagine Jesus playing with his sibs and neighborhood boys. I see him learning the craft of carpentry from his father and listening as his mother described the ways a woman was to be cared for as he became a young man himself. I see him running, jumping, poking holes in the earth to discover hidden treasures, and even taking a pile of garbage to the local trash pile. All of us see the baby, but how many times do we see the teen, voice changing, stubble growing on his chin, and growing out of everything at break-neck speed?

He became a friend WITH us - experiencing life as we experience it everyday. He likely cried because he was hungry, enjoyed the wonder of butterflies in the spring, and took lessons as did his sibs and friends. He isn't an aloof friend - he is a 'right here, right now' friend. He isn't a fair-weather acquaintance - he is a friend WITH us at all times, in all seasons, regardless of our temperament or our desire - he remains faithful WITH us. WITH or TO - which type of friendship would you say you exhibit toward him? I know I began with the friend 'to' him - but at some point, that friendship went way beyond a mere acquaintance. I cannot tell you when or where, but it happened. I began to desire the healer more than the healing. I didn't look for the benefits of relationship as much as I desired the closeness of just being closely knit together.

WITH describes a closeness that has sticking power. Desire is born out of being WITH him. Heart connection is formed when we are WITH him. Just sayin.

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