There are always new things I find myself learning about God in daily circumstances. I see how His character is revealed in nature, in a moment, in a sunrise, the scent of something familiar, through class discussion, and especially through people. I’ve had this wonderful chance to have a best friend and learn more about the character of God because of this special blessing. Here are some few things I have learned about His character through my best friend and my friendships with others.
God is Relentless
As I listened to Hillsong’s Zion album and heard the lyrics that “[His] love is relentless”, I started to think of what that actually meant. My best friend and I just had a discussion about the ways that make us feel most loved; quality time came up big for us both. Since we live far away from each other, we don’t always get that. But Jesus loves us all the time. Relentlessly. He can spend unlimited amounts of time with us. He is always around and is surely not limited by time or space. I’m so thankful for that. I kind of wish I could love people extravagantly, all the time, like our God, you know? Here’s the song if you want to hear just how relentless His love is.
He Is the Best Listener
My best friend is really good at asking questions, and I am so thankful for that. I feel known when someone inquires about my life and when they ask me questions. I feel like, if God is so personal, wouldn’t he be asking me questions? “Diana, what do you think about me?” “What do you want me to give you today?” “How can we spend more time together today?” “Did you see that flower I made?”
And you know what? I want to ask Him questions too.
“Lord, why do you love me?” “I’m kind of anxious about X, Y, and Z… what are you saying about this?” “And how can I be wise with my time this morning?” “God, what do you think about me?”
Sometimes it’s hard to treat God like a person because we can’t see, touch, or feel Him the way we do with people. He listens to me all the time, but am I the one listening back? I can read His word and find out that He does speak to me through it… it’s like reading a love letter over and over again. I want to listen and I want to talk to God. Like I would with my best friend.
Jesus is Forgiving
If you are a living human being, chances are you have been hurt by someone, and hurt another person. If you are close to someone and hurt them, it hurts you too. Whenever I know I hurt my friends I know I want forgiveness right away because it hurts my heart to hurt them too. For humans, grace doesn’t come that easy– we have the Holy Spirit to lead us as Christians to forgive each other, but we also take the hurts we have felt in the past and weigh them in, too. God is the best at forgiving. He teaches me so much through my friends how to forgive.
One of the biggest learning moments in forgiveness I’ve had was when a good friend of mine got engaged and we all went to the lake. She gave her ring to me to put in her shoe on the beachy shore… and for a second I thought I lost it! She looked at me with a calm expression, and said “It’s okay, Diana– even if you lose it I will forgive you. I won’t hold it against you”, or something to that degree. I had so much peace and honestly, I was shocked that she was so calm about it. It was her engagement ring!! She knew her treasure was in heaven and that loving a person was a bigger priority for her. in this way, I have seen God in a different way– just how much He really forgives us. I could do things much worse than lose a wedding ring, all the time, and still God casts those offenses away in a heartbeat, not even bringing it back up next time. he loves us, period: no strings attached.
God is a Jealous God
Okay. So we know jealousy is wrong, right? Sometimes I don’t understand why God says He is a “jealous God”… when He also says to not covet from a neighbor, and to not have jealousy or envy. James 3:14-16 says
” But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
I can see how jealousy can be destructive. Sometimes we get jealous when people spend time with others and not with you… I might get jealous if I couldn’t spend time with my best friend even though I want to, and it happens vice-versa. It’s cause I wanna be with her and spend time with her too. So now I understand that God is jealous in the sense that He really, really, really wants to spend time with me and be the first person I run to and hang out with. He just wants me. And it makes me feel loved, and wanted.
I realize most of this sounds like a stretch and I’m not sure what’s theological or not about this, but all I know is that God is jealous of my heart and wants to spend time with me. Thank you, God, for wanting to spend time with me!
God Really Has Good Things For Me
A verse found in Romans 8:28 says,
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”
I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy getting good things. Gifts from people show me they are thinking about me. I don’t usually care if it’s big or expensive, or anything really. A gift is a “good thing” for me, because it shows me love in a way that connects to my heart. One day my best friend had this craving for Cadbury eggs (since they came out promptly 2 months before Easter and all), and when i came over to her house she told me she got me one too, so we could enjoy them together. Just the fact that she thought of me and got me a little chocolate egg so we could enjoy it together touched me. And it was delicious.
So God has “good things” for us, right? I think that he just really loves us and wants to spend time with us, so He blesses people. There’s a lot of people touting the banner of “prosperity and health for you and your family”, but that’s not the Gospel. The Gospel is that we are broken people who try to find our own way and don’t know that this great person, Jesus, who is actually God, can bring us back to being complete people, free from fear and confusion and pressure, and can show us a better way to live and love. This is why I follow Jesus. He wants us to know that peace and freedom and, free of charge. He likes to bless His people because He loves us, not because we do anything “super good” or “deserving of anything”.
He Is Safe, and Knows What He is Doing
I for sure feel like my life is being woven like a tapestry. Sometimes I see the vibrant colors He is weaving and when I don’t see the thread then, I sort of freak out. I don’t always know what I’m doing or where I’m going, and it feels dangerous and uncertain at times. My friend Faith is someone who has always seemed to know what she’s doing– she’s always certain where she’s going and how to get there, and can certainly follow through. At least that’s the impression I got whenever we were in London traveling together. I felt safe, like I could count on her to know where and how to get to where we were going. I’m not always the best with directions, you can certainly ask ANYBODY, and they will tell you I can’t navigate my way out of a paper bag. Although since London I have gotten better. There was this one time we were running through the streets of Camden and I felt sick and decided to take the Tube back. I got lost for half an hour… still, I made it back and Faith laughed.
So, in relating this to God, I really see that even if I don’t know the next step, He really does. In fact, He knows the B-I-G plan, and when He’s weaving something in my life I can’t see and can’t touch and I just have to have faith He’s leading me closer to Him in the end. In the process it’s scary and can hurt but in the end, I know there will be a small section of my life that’s actually a part of a bigger tapestry that I could never see. In the places I didn’t see Him weaving I know He was making something beautiful behind the scenes, or else making room for a new color. And have you seen the flip-side of a tapestry? It’s ugly and tangled and looks like a mess… and sometimes I find myself being on that side of the tapestry, unaware of what’s being woven on the other side. It’s all I can do to hand the needle back up to God, though I don’t know what the next pattern is, or where the string is going next or where it will end up.
I can’t wait to see the beautiful ending, to see the big picture in the end– and for now I’m so thankful to have amazing people in my life, like my best friend and my boyfriend and my family. These people are significant strings in my life and I’m so glad God chose them to be woven into my story. Glory and honor be to Him, the great Creator of stories!
photo credit: lovefibre via photopin cc