Still thinking about old friends…mind you, I don’t mean friends who are old here, OK? I’m talking about friends who have been in my life for a long time…though they might actually be rather old, now that I think about it … tee-hee…
Anyway, I was thinking how incredible it is that I have a few life-long-friends who, despite the fact that they actually know me pretty well, still like me and are not apprehensive about admitting that they are my friends! That to me is a miracle! The collection of hidden and not-so-hidden flaws I have makes me for a tough sell when it comes to the likeability department. But these people graciously stick by me even though I am a total mess…and often, a big phony.
If that is not unbelievable enough, let’s think about God and how we said He is our oldest and most dependable of friends. Stopping to think about that truth should make us feel overflowed with awe and wonder. The same God who created the galaxies and everything in existence not only created me as well, but knows me…He knows me by name since before I was even formed…that is mind-blowing!
Before I was born the Lord called me;
from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. Isaiah 49: 1b
Not only is He not apprehensive about admitting that He knows us, but He even claims us as His own!
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.
My friends may know a lot about me. However, it is rather impossible for anyone to truly KNOW everything about someone else. God, however, KNOWS EVERYTHING about me. He knows my deepest and darkest secrets. He knows my motives (YIKES!). He knows my desires (Double yikes!). He knows my heart…sigh…and He still likes me…He still Loves me…He loves me enough to die for me.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5: 8
Honestly, I have so much darkness in me that, had I lived in Jesus’ time, I’d been one of those yelling: “Crucify Him!”
But He doesn’t care. And the main reason He doesn’t care is because He IS the Savior, not me. If I were good, righteous and perfect on my own, I would not need Him. There would have been no need for Jesus to die if we could have done it all on our own. But we are not the Savior…we are the saved. We are not the Shepherd…we are the sheep. And like the sheep on the field, we are lost without the love, care and proximity of Our Good Shepherd.
I pray I remember this truth…this miraculous mystery that is God’s love for me every time I feel lonely, afraid, abandoned, lost or unloved. I do have at least One Good Old Friend who loves me so much, that allowed nails to be driven through His flesh to save me, to claim me, to call me by my name.