“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15
Have you ever met an instant soul-sister? Immediately, you knew she was a bosom buddy. This happened to me a month ago, the week before the She Speaks Conference. I met a God’s girl named, Gwen. We met on the She Speaks Facebook site. I am not sure what brought us together, but I do know Who connected our heartstrings.
Our growth in a week’s time grew like a wildfire fueled by a dry forest. Our friendship was instant and easy. It was unexpected. This friendship was an intentional set-up by the Maker. He knew, He knew…we needed one another.
Let me share a tidbit about Gwen and me. Gwen is my Lucy, as I am her Ethel. Gwen tickles me pink; I ask her where her purse is (true, she left it in the conference hallway!) She shoots deer; I talk to deer. We are different, but we are the same. She is my Mary; I am her Martha. She is deeply in love with God but sometimes forgets about the details. I am deeply in love with God but tend to get stuck with the details. We balance each other.
On Saturday morning of the conference, we were together and I noticed the sadness in Gwen’s eyes and I asked her, “What is wrong?”. She looked me square in the eyes and said, “I do not want this to be our last day together. It is moving too fast.” I remember feeling that pit in my stomach as she whispered the truth. I remember fighting back the hot streams of sorrow from my eyes because I knew our hours were running short. I understood her heartache.
Before we said our goodbyes Sunday morning at the airport, we made a promise we would stay intentional in our friendship and seek ways to continue fellowship with one another…Intentional “Frien-llowship”.
You know who else understood the emotions of the hours ticking away? One who wished He could have one more day, one more hour with His dearest friends? Jesus.
Before Jesus left the earth He prayed for his disciples to His Father (John 17: 6-19). His words are moving and beautiful. Sometimes I forget the humanity side of Jesus. To leave the twelve He shared life together…eating, traveling, laughing, healing, teaching, growing, living and serving for three years. Jesus words to the Father are tender and personal; He was aware the hours were closing in.
John 17: 6, “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.” (Italics added). Jesus says, “you gave them to me.” They were not just people He just so happened to befriend, they were a gift from God—God gave them to Jesus. They were His family on earth. He loved them deeply.
John 14:16-18, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
After the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, the disciples were sent a gift from God, the Holy Spirit. They were not left on their own, trying to continue life without their friend, Jesus. The Holy Spirit was their link and connection to their friend they missed and longed for so deeply.
Due to God’s grace, we have the same connection as the disciples to our Father and His Son, Jesus. The One who dwells within us helps with the intentional “frien-llowship” with Christ. Digging and gleaning in His Word, praising Him, attending church, serving others and finding fellowship with other believers will help us with intentional “frien-llowship” in Him. He doesn't leave us as orphans either. A comforting promise from God.
Gwen and I strive to grow daily by intentional “frien-llowship”. Texts, cards, pictures and videos are ways we grow our "frien-llowship", even in the distance. Separation also doesn't detour our unity in Christ. He is our foundation of our friendship. God “gave” Gwen to me...my Lucy. My cup runneth over with joy.