I’m not a good friend.
My mother would have called me a “fair-weather friend”. That’s what she called people who were with you in good times but not in the bad times. Or when a friend got what they considered a better offer from someone else, and they ditched you.
I’ve had a lot of fair-weather friends. And I’ve been one. I’ve been a fair-weather friend to Jesus. A little Peter-esque, if you will.
In John 15:13, Jesus said, “No one has greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.”
And in verse 15, he clarifies who His friends are, “…but I have called you [My] friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father.”
Jesus, friend, and Savior, who laid down His life for me.
And I have run to the window when His words become rote and dull, looking for a better, more exciting offer. Taking in all the explosive scenes of the war raging outside in the world. Responding in fear and anxiety. Letting my heart become troubled. Trying to figure out how this mess and devastation outside can ever be made right.
And Jesus waits. Waits for me to turn back around and behold Him. He waits for me to encourage myself with His words. He waits for me to turn back to the Peace. Not peace as the world gives…when everything calms down out there, then I can be calm in here.
No. Peace to stand behind and be protected from that scene out there. It is through His Peace I must look at my life and the world, not through the tiny slits I leave between my fingers.
I want to be the kind of friend Jesus is to me. He doesn’t leave me. Even when I leave Him. He waits for me to turn around and come back to Him.
Rudyard Kipling’s poem to his son comes to mind, but with a few adjustments…
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust Jesus when all men doubt, but make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating…Yours is the Peace that surpasses all understanding,
And which is more-you’ll be a friend of Jesus, beloved.