Faith. Hope. & Love.
It is springtime and flowers are blooming everywhere in the mountainous area where I live. Everywhere I look, there are multitudes of indigenous flowers blooming prolifically and they are all gorgeous and vibrant, adding color to a landscape that through wintertime, was bleak and barren.
Now, there is one flower that does not grow indigenous in this area and that is the tulip flower. It is a beautiful flower and while I see tulips blooming in the neighbor’s yard, tulips, while hearty flowers, must be planted first before we begin to see them growing in our own yard.
Recently, someone gave me a bouquet of tulips. The bouquet was beautiful. The tropical-colored buds were gorgeous in their own right, but then two days later the buds opened up and I had the unexpected pleasure of seeing the inside of a tulip. I was amazed. It was extraordinarily beautiful. Each petal had the exact design of intricate shapes and colors. I was fascinated to no end.
Now that I have seen the inside of a tulip, I enjoy them more than I ever have in the past.
Friends, have you ever seen the inside of a tulip? If not, please treat yourself to one of God’s great visual miracles on this planet.
Like tulips, friendships are beautiful on the outside. You spend time with your friends. You enjoy each other’s company. I call this surface friendship. It’s all wonderful. We all need each other to survive. But, have you ever taken time to see the inside of your friend? Beyond the initial, outward attraction, which some call chemical attraction, have you ever thought about what it is about your friend that makes you like them so much? I would bet that if you ever opened up to your friend and if your friend ever opened up to you, you would discover something about them and they would discover something about you that is so wonderful that you would be drawn closer to each other in ways you could never imagine.
There is nothing wrong with surface friendship. After all, we live in a world where sometimes survival means being with others merely for comfort and camaraderie. A community coming together to help each other in times of need is a basic survival technique that we desperately need to keep planted in society. In times of trouble, the people in the community ban together as friends.
But, have you ever thought about going deeper with the person you call your friend? Have you ever thought about discovering and uncovering that which makes your friend who they are? What makes them tick? What are their likes and dislikes? What do you have in common? Oh, what about discovering what makes the two of you different? I believe that when friends open up to each other, they are in for a world of marvelous discoveries about each other and this discovery will tie the friendship together in ways that are extraordinarily wonderful.
Our #1 Friend
We have a friend in Jesus. He is our #1 friend and I believe that if we open up our hearts and let Jesus see us for who we are (sharing the good and the bad), and if we look into the heart of Jesus, we will discover a friend with unlimited, unconditional love.
Jesus is the best friend a person can have on earth and into eternity. He is the perfect model of what friendship is all about because He loves us without limits. He gave everything, including His life for us so that we could have freedom from sin and a life of eternity with the Almighty God, the King of all Nations.
How much of you does your earthly friend ask of you? In contrast, Jesus (our Heavenly friend) doesn’t ask much of you. In fact, all He asks is that you believe in Him. And, truly, that’s not much.
Believe in Jesus and you will discover a world of beauty.
The bible says:
“No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Include your friend Jesus among those you call your best friends and you will be surrounded by good, caring friends who will carry you, with joy, through the life you deserve.
The bible says:
“Oil and incense bring joy to the heart, and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel.”
Proverbs 27:9 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
I think Cicero, the famous Roman statesman, also said it well:
Nature loves nothing solitary, and always reaches out to something as a support, which ever in the sweetest friend is most delightful.
Take delight in the beauty of friendships and cherish your friends forever.
Today's Worship Video: What a Friend I've Found
Words and Music: by Martin Smith
Copyright: 1996 Curious? Music UK