Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is God Really My Friend?

Retreats have been a part of my journey with God for as long as I have known Him, because for me, no matter how much time I spend each week in prayer, bible study church services or serving Him through the arts, the deepest times of learning about God and who He really is come when I set aside time to meet with Him, uninterrupted, away from distractions.

In my latest retreat, I enjoyed some rest, did some writing and discovered a lot about what I really believe about God and His role as a friend in my life. Now, don't misunderstand, I wasn't having a crisis of faith, but sometimes without realizing it, I allow human behavior to define God's character.

I've been devastated by several people whom I considered close friends over the years and those experiences cloud my perception of God as a friend. That probably sounds silly, but just put it in your own context. If your father on earth was uncaring or abusive, for example, it's probably more difficult for you to make a leap to understanding God as a loving Father who never would hurt you. If your spouse has been unfaithful, it probably isn't easy for you to trust Jesus as the bridegroom of the church. Or if someone calling himself a Christian has behaved in an unloving, unkind or hypocritical way, you probably think God is the same.

So on my latest retreat, God challenged me to think through whether I was limiting our friendship because I was defining His friendship in earthly terms. In truth, I was. My concept of God as a friend needed to grow and break free from the weeds of bad experiences that were choking it out. I asked Him to define our friendship in His own words from scripture. You know, He's really amazing.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'

Gee, that sounds like someone in my corner.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 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."

Jesus doesn't hold back anything for His own gain. He doesn't use me for His own advantage and He gave up everything for me.

"Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!"

Thank you God, for putting a new face on friendship for me. Yours!

No comments:

Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Subscribe to This Feed