I’m learning how to be a friend to Jesus. Simple, right? It isn’t for me.
You see, I know the song “I am a friend of God”. That implies we are friends, right? The Bible tells us that Jesus calls us His friends (John 15:15). I believe the Bible is true. Therefore logically I am Jesus’s friend.
But I didn’t realize that the title “friend” isn’t just bestowed on me. It’s not a badge to wear. It’s not credentials to frame and hang on my wall. Friendship with Jesus takes RELATIONSHIP. I am learning this one the hard way.
Every day since our world shut down from Covid 19 I have been spending my mornings with God. I get up at 5:00, go outside, make a bonfire, journal, pray for my friends, read scripture, and listen to podcasts about Him. I have done this for weeks now! It has been great quiet time and so have learned a lot.
During this time I have even started asking Jesus questions that I have learned from having had leadership coaching. “Jesus, check in! How are you feeling? Is there anything you need? What is on your mind? What are you dreaming about?”
This morning I felt the warm familiar presence of Jesus. I know it’s Him because He is the one who walks with me in my garden. His presence is unmistakable. He has a sense of humor. He laughs with me at silly things that nobody else would get. He lovingly provokes and instigates comical verbal sparring with me sometimes. He’s a hoot! The religious Jesus I learned about in church is so boring compared to my friend Jesus!
This morning I asked Jesus to check in. He actually said “you know, I like bon fires too”. I wasn’t sure I heard Him right. Ok, so Jesus likes fire. Now what? “Jesus what do you need?” He said “I’d like a seat at the table”.
That cut through me like a blade. Here I was spending all of this time outside praying, listening, journaling, and learning, and I never invited Jesus to join me. I completely left Him out. The realization that Jesus was a friend to me and I was a lousy friend to Him crushed me. There was no condemnation in His voice. He just asked for a seat next to me by the fire.
There is a table by the fire pit. There is one chair there…mine. So I pulled up a second chair and invited Him to join me. There was a large and exceptionally creepy spider in His chair. I laughed and asked Him why in the world He would ever have made such a thing. Then He sat down and began to poke the fire with a stick. Epic morning.
So if you drive by my house in the morning and see me talking to a chair, just smile. Jesus and I are just “checking in” with each other. And don’t judge when I start offering Him s’mores…
Does He have a seat at your table?