Saturday, February 1, 2014

No Strangers in Christ


Jesus friend.

That is what I like to call a friend that God brings into your life through a unique circumstance that only He could orchestrate. You discover that you click immediately, connect on a deep level, and feel like you've been friends for years, even if you have only spent a few hours together.

Jesus friend.

I met a new Jesus friend this past week and it has been such a blast getting to know her. Neither of us live in the same city, work in the same profession, or even have the same group of friends, but yet we feel like soul sisters. And you know what? We are! All because of Jesus.

I'm always completely amazed at the way that God brings people into our lives. My pastors back in California talk about how friendships often take place in seasons. This is why I believe it is important for us to hold our friendships with an open hand: Being willing to let new ones come into our lives and being willing to at times let others go.

Relationships eb and flow. People move into our lives and they move out of our lives. There are seasons that we are extremely close to someone, naturally drift apart as life takes it course, and then we become close again (or not). This is a natural cycle as we change and grow. This does not mean that we stop loving people when they are not active in our lives or that we can't have friends for a life-time (I have best friends from childhood and 10+ years), but it does mean that we should be open to allowing our friendships to be organic, whether they are brand new, unexpected friendships or 20 year + friendships.

This particular new friendship is extremely organic and Jesus-orchestrated. We met through a mutual friend (who is my new Jesus friend's "friend of a friend"...see how far removed this is?!) earlier this week at an event that I almost didn't go to because I had been sick for a few days prior and wasn't feeling that well.  My new Jesus friend was in town from another part of the United States for a unique opportunity with a possible job. When the opportunity ended up falling through, my new Jesus friend was connected through a friend of hers to a woman to goes to my church. This woman from church (a friend of mine) invited my soon-to-be Jesus friend to this mid-week event.

We met among a group of five other women over tea and began sharing about what God was doing in our lives. Instantly, as soon as she began sharing about her life, I felt that I was supposed to connect with her and get to know her while she was in town. The Lord heavily impressed it upon my heart to ask her to grab dinner later in the week and she happily agreed to meet.  

The following evening I found myself with my new Jesus friend at one my favorite, tiny, West Village restaurants. We spent a couple hours chatting and laughing over oaky Chardonnay and delicious French food, sharing amazing God stories, and our passions in life. It was brilliant! We found out that we had so much more in common then we originally thought and comfortably enjoyed each others' company as if we were sisters rather than strangers.

Jesus friend.

Just forty-eight hours prior, I did not even know this awesome, beautiful, powerful, fun-loving, Godly woman existed. Now she was sitting across from me at a tiny cafe table sharing about the same passion and love for Jesus that I've known and experienced. Words can't describe that kind of connection and affirmation.

We ended the evening praying for each other on a subway platform. Hearts were shared and tears were shed (mine) over the major work that God was doing in both our lives. I was deeply reminded of the incredible ways that God will bring people into our lives in the absolute perfect timing. If we are willing to reach out and be vulnerable as God leads, the results can be life-changing. Her prayers and encouraging words were exactly what I needed to hear. Two days before, a complete stranger, now, a friend for eternity. Literally.

Isn't it absolutely amazing how the man & Savior, Jesus Christ, can take billions of people around the world who love Him and follow Him and instantly make them family with one another? It does not matter what country we come from, what language we speak, what cultural customs we Christ we truly are one (Gal 3:28).

I don't know what will transpire with my new Jesus friend, but I plan to continue to keep in touch with her and I am extremely grateful that I've had the opportunity to get to know her and enjoy her lovely presence while she has been in the city. I ended our conversation and prayer on the subway platform saying, "Even if we never end up seeing each other again in person in this life, I know we'll see each other in heaven. And that is best part." When our friendships are centered and anchored upon Jesus, there is nothing temporal about them. They go into eternity. And that is truly amazing!

There truly are no strangers in Jesus.

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit" -Ephesians 2:19-22 (ESV).

*I'd love to hear your Jesus friend stories and thoughts on friendship. Please feel free to share below. If you've never experienced the blessing of a Jesus friend, ask the Lord to bring one into your life :-)

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love your comments about how Jesus can "can take billions of people around the world who love Him and follow Him and instantly make them family with one another... in Christ we truly are one." I realized this weekend that my small group has quickly become a new little family of Jesus friends. And of course, I think back to meeting you 10+ years ago and how we become such fast friends over an evening of pizza and airbands :)


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