I received a lesson from the Lord today about humility and patience, and his love and care for all people. I was having my time with him to begin my day before starting all my church tasks, and I read My Utmost for His Highest about being alone with God and how the disciples had parables explained to them in private by Jesus. Chambers states that God alone understands us and is the only one who can work to change our character a little at a time into his own character. We cannot understand ourselves—God alone does, and we often are too busy and frantic and consumed with things of the world to get alone with the Savior and listen to what he knows about us.
This morning I was struck by the idea that God can do anything. I could ask, and he could potentially do anything I asked. But a true friend does not use a friend simply to do things they want. Instead, they invest in the relationship and become friends with the person, each one helping the other to pursue their hopes and dreams for the future. Each one wants to participate with the other in their journey toward the life that they have in mind. You could ask a friend to do a lot of things, for you. But friendship is about living life together and working together toward the common goal of having a rich relationship not based on getting and giving, but instead based on how your character is changed and uplifted when in the other’s presence. A friend knows you, loves you, and accepts you, and wants to see you be the best person you can possible be.
Do I want to work with my friend, God, and see his dreams come true? Do I want to encourage (bless) him and uplift him (praise) and pursue his dreams as my own? Am I a good friend to God? Is it about what he does for me or is it about who he is? I want it to be about who he is. I want to help God’s dreams come true just as he helps me in that way. I want to be involved in his overarching plan, not be a friend who simply assigns him tasks or asks for favors. I want to find my part in his plan and work in the future together with him. I want to bring more people into our circle of friendship so that they too will become part of the presence of God–true family members, true friends.
God is a God of miracles, but if he is only asked for miracles and not real friendship, he becomes only a doing friend in your life, not a friend who is real and present and loved unconditionally. It’s like knowing someone who has a great deal of money—they always wonder who is true in their lives. Who would love them without their money? I want to be a true friend to God and love him whether he has money or not. I love God’s heart.
I went up to the counter at Starbucks to borrow a pen to write all this down, and my original impulse was to butt ahead of the three people in line since I only wanted a pen, and, after all, I was going to write something spiritual and important! God stopped me and had me wait patiently in line and really notice the people ahead of me in line. Weren’t their lives and schedules important too? Didn’t they have a right to have the full attention of the barista before me? Didn’t God value the customers and workers just as much as me? I gained a little humility and waited my turn and when I got to the counter, there were samples of coffee and cookies! Just the little pick-me-up I needed to start my morning. If I had been pushy, I would have missed the samples! And the lesson from a friend who cares more about who I am than what I want. I am only as important as the people around me, and God treats everyone the same, which is why he’s such a good friend!