Devotional: The Best Friend You’ve Ever Had
Up until this last year, I greatly underestimated what a strong relationship with God and time spent reading the powerful words of the Bible could do in my life. Before the struggles I walked through this year, I’m ashamed to admit my relationship with God was primarily a series of things I had to do: pray before bed, go to church, read a devotional in the morning, listen to worship music in the car, etc. I truly loved the Lord and I knew He was my maker, but our relationship wasn’t alive in my heart and mind. I wasn’t walking in victory. I just wanted Him to do things for me. What worldly goals could He help me accomplish? What markers of success could He give me? And while He’s at it, He better protect the people I love and give us blessings.
I was missing out on so much.
But I finally woke up this year. In my darkest season, I finally woke up to the power of reading the Bible with ears to hear and eyes to see, not simply as something to check off my to-do list. I woke up to the power of spending significant time in prayer with my creator, instead of a quick prayer before falling asleep at night. I woke up to the treasure waiting for me in a deep relationship with Jesus. And now I just want to shout from the rooftops that Jesus can be the best friend you could ever have and He can fill up every hole in your heart.
On my hardest days over the summer, when I felt so lost and confused in darkness, I’d lay on the floor of my bedroom and just cry out to Jesus. I’d confess my true feelings, my worries, my pain. And I’d put it all out in front of Him. And somehow, that time with Him strengthened me to keep going. He made me feel better. It’s like those people you love being around because they feel like a warm light. After you hang out with them, you feel good. Happy. Uplifted. That is Jesus. Time with Him brings light to the darkness. (Psalm 18:28) And afterwards, you feel ok again. You find strength you didn’t know you had.
It took me a long time to figure out what I was missing out on. In the past, whenever I’ve felt down or anxious or upset about something, my first instinct was to maybe work out, watch tv, complain to my husband or mom, maybe even let myself slip deeper into my feelings by thinking over and over again about how XYZ situation was so bad or why I wasn’t good enough, etc. Now, my first reaction to those feelings is to immediately go to Jesus. I want to get in prayer, I want to read my Bible, I just want to be in His presence because it makes me feel better. I don’t want anything from Him other than His presence and goodness.
It’s hard for me to put into words, but something beyond human comprehension happens when we spend time with God. Something changes in us when we open the Bible and fill our minds with those words. I’m still figuring it out myself, but it’s powerful. And if I could ever influence you on one thing, I hope it’s to help you see the treasure waiting for you in a relationship with the Lord. Make a habit of reading your Bible when you first wake up in the morning, when your mind is fresh, or maybe before falling asleep at night. Write down verses you love on notecards and carry them with you. And pray as often as you can–seek out that time with joy.
I promise something will start to change in you. Your relationship with the Lord will grow into something so much better than a series of checks on a to-do list. You’ll come alive in a whole new way. It won’t happen over night, at least it didn’t in my experience, but with dedication and a humble heart, your mind will start to be renewed. You’ll start thinking about things differently. You’ll stop underestimating what He can do and finally wake up to the fact that Jesus is the best and greatest friend.
“Lord, you have brought light to my life;
my God, you light up my darkness.
In Your strength I can crush any army.
With my God, I can scale any wall.”
Psalm 18: 28-29