(photo by Guille Alverez — unsplash)
“I am fully aware of all the relational experiences that you have had or will have in your life’s journey. You have experienced moments of extreme blessings that come from rich relationships that have endured and grown through the years. There have also been times where relationships have brought you deep hurt and pain.
My son, Jesus understood what it was like to be betrayed and hurt by someone he called a friend. Judas Iscariot, one of his twelve disciples, took money from the priests and temple guard to help them have Jesus arrested. Judas attempted to betray him with a kiss!
For every moment of hurt or pain that you have had to experience because of a difficult relationship, my heart has hurt for you. I take no pleasure when my children suffer. However, your pain is not the end of the story. It is an opportunity for you to draw near to me, to learn from me, and to receive from me what you need to get through.
When you have given the best of yourself in friendship, have been rejected, and you struggle to understand, look to me. I will show you truth, about you, and about how you should respond to the circumstances. You may never know the truth about the other person, but I will give you the perspective you need to move forward. In time, I will heal and restore you; even if reconciliation with your friend never happens. Just as you trust me to work in your life, you must also trust me to take care of them.
For some, the journey to true friendship appears to be easy. You have searched your whole life for a friend who accepts you, one you can trust and confide in; one who will not judge your weakness or take advantage of your strengths; one who will support, encourage, and be there to stand with you through the ups and downs of life. Those kinds of people are very hard to come by because anytime humans are involved, no relationship will be perfect. You will always be capable of hurting one another because your flesh and your condition will get in the way.
The only perfect friend you will ever find is me. I will stick closer to you than a brother or a sister, a husband or a wife, or any other human who is part of your life. Perhaps, once you finally get to the place where you accept me as that friend, you will actually be ready to receive the friendship of a person who isn’t perfect, but who will strive to love and accept you, and desire to be the same kind of friend to you that you want to be to them.”
- Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me. Psalms 41:9
- Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable? Proverbs 20:6
- (Jesus said), “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me.” Luke 22:11
- But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” Luke 22: 47, 48
- There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
- As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17
- Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9
- There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
- The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. Psalms 25:14