Monday, January 6, 2014

Who's Your Best Friend?

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

I remember being in sixth or seventh grade and a "trick" going around where you'd ask someone, "who's your best friend," and as soon as they started to answer, you'd jump in, "no, your best friend is Jesus!" [Thanks for going back to middle school with me for a moment there, now let's get back to being "grown" women, who sometimes (more often than not) still act like middle school girls.]

When do you turn to the Lord? Who is Jesus to you? Is He your last resort when things aren't going your way? Is He a Sunday stop to talk to at church but who simply slips your mind when life gets in the way? Is He someone for "religious" people but you define yourself as more of a "spiritual" person (that always seemed to be trendy on college campuses)? Or is He the first One you turn to when you are worried, burdened, afraid, unsure of what path to take? I'd venture to say that if we'd spend less time gossiping with our best friends/sorority sisters/coworkers/Facebook friends/etc. and more time talking directly with our Savior, we'd feel a lot less burdened and a lot more comforted.

I'm not pointing fingers. I am the first one to admit that when I'm upset, I whip out my phone and my fingers get to texting. Most of the time, I turn straight to my husband. Or, if it's a work issue, I swing around to my coworkers and unload. A lot of times, Jesus is the last consult when I'm searching for guidance. If you can relate, I don't blame you. Our world perpetuates dependence on others' approval, others' advice and others' affirmation. Social media is an "acceptable" (another debate for another post) forum for emotion-dumping. Blogs solicit comments, Facebook solicits "likes" or shares, Twitter solicits replies or retweets, and just like that, an entire peanut gallery is seconds away through cellular cyber space. In fact, to get advice from friends, you don't even have to "talk" to anyone anymore. We live in a world of tangible, instant gratification, and "being still" with God just doesn't feel as glamorous (Psalm 46:10).

Friends are a blessing, a true gift from God. Good friends, especially as for women, are true treasures. The cliche promise of "finding your bridesmaids" when going through sorority recruitment as a college freshman isn't so cliche, and many lifelong sisterhoods are formed during the four years spent at college. I believe that God desires for us to seek counsel and build bonds with true, tried friends. Jesus spent His life traveling, teaching, praying and seeking fellowship with His disciples. He ate with them, He told stories with them, He laughed with them, He cried with them, and through those relationships, He models perfect friendship for us. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13).

When Jesus needed true counsel, however, when He was so overwhelmed that He was literally sweating drops of blood (Luke 22:44), He left His friends, and sat quietly, alone with His Heavenly Father. And He calls us to do the same. Jesus Christ wants to be the first friend you turn to; He wants to be your best friend. We serve a loving, yet jealous, God, and He demands that we seek and serve Him as the most important relationship in our lives. Before our spouse/fiance/significant other, before our parents, before our siblings, before our friends. Turn to the Lord. Christ is waiting to carry your burden.

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