Becoming a Friend of God
Sara tells us in this chapter about a time right after bringing two of their adopted children home. Already having two adopted children in their home, Sara felt as if she was drowning in the brokenness these four children were needing to heal from. She had not thought of how long the process would be to reach the miraculous moment of healing.
The Christmas season was upon them and Sara would have liked nothing more than to have safeguarded the children from the commercialism of Christmas in America. She wanted their hearts to be focused on the true Christmas story and not one filled with manger scenes sitting next to inflatable snowmen. However, on this night the family would be going to church for the Christmas Eve service.
The service turned into an invitation for the children to come to the front. Different children were chosen to answer questions about Christmas and her daughter surprised her by raising her hand to answer the last question of the evening. She responded with a Scriptural answer and the crowd exploded with cheers. Sara’s heart was naturally proud of her daughter, but what she experienced more than those feelings of a proud mama was the thankfulness in her heart for what God had done in her child’s heart. Healing was taking place in the hands of God. A friendship had begun.
Allowing God To Be God and Knowing His Friendship
No one but the family and God knew the hurts this child was learning to heal from. Everything which had taken place in this young girl”s life had been hidden from the world, from the time of her birth in Africa and even now in her new home in America as well. Sara and Nate had prayed and spent many hours working to heal those broken places in this child’s heart. But, at this moment, Sara sensed God looking down saying, “‘I saw the hundreds of minutes before this one when she bristled against your loving leadership, and I’m at work in her.'” God had shown Sara, His eyes had seen all those hidden moments.
We all have a story to tell but many times others don’t see it. It is here though that we must come to the knowledge that God is our true friend, just as Sara did at that moment. It is here we find approval and encouragement.
We know from Scriptures that Abraham was a friend of God. Sara reminds us of John the Baptist reference to himself in John 3:29 of being a friend of Jesus. She reminds us though that this isn’t a status-quo for just the spiritual superheroes in The Bible. Jesus tells us in John 15:15 that He no longer calls us servants but friends.
Passions are often birthed from habits
How many of us will acknowledge the desire we have to be known? Sara reminds us here though that God wants to be known as well. Do we ask Him daily to teach us more about Himself? Or do we focus on our own agendas and our wants? We look to the gifts rather than The Gift-Giver. It is hard to turn that focus around to Him alone but once we do, we won’t want to look back. We’ve spoken many times about practicing the presence of God. Let me reiterate here again, that it is perfectly okay to put on your calendar or set your timer to spend time with Him. Once this begins to be a habit it causes us to see there is nothing greater. Forming a habit is nothing to be ashamed of.
Sometimes God allows the lights to be turned out to trust Him alone
Sara was asked to speak one weekend for a ladies retreat. She walked down to the lake where a circle of women were ready to listen and glean from her wisdom. She took out her notes and began speaking. Soon; however, the lights were dim by the evening sun setting and she found herself having to speak from memory rather than her notes. She leaned into God and saw her trust magnified. Yet, as she walked back to her room that night she found herself fighting the temptation to bring condemnation to her message. Finding herself seeking God’s heart rather than these women’s nods she realized this was friendship with God. This hiddenness brings us searching for Him alone.
Finding communion in friendship with God
Mary is an example of finding friendship with God. She was intent on listening to His heartbeat and participating in conversation with Jesus. The others sitting around Jesus that night were intent on the influence they had in their ministry and their money. But Mary had reached out for Jesus in terms of true friendship. And the friendship was not only found in her eyes but in Jesus’ as well. He knew her heart was true. What a comfort to Him as He was about to embark on the road to crucifixion to save the world and to find true friendship in Mary. This is communion and this is what we were made for.
Even in the hidden places, we will be seen by others
Sara tells us about one of her daughters praying for Unseen as she was writing it. She looked up at her mom one day and said, “‘Mommy, you’re like a morning glory, except you open in the night when no one sees you but God. And you’re hidden and closed during the day'”. This whole book has been about being hidden in Jesus; however, her daughter knew nothing about the subject of the book, only that she was writing a book. Yet her daughter observed her hiddenness in God.
Are you wrestling to be seen? As we finish Sara’s book, are we still struggling for the need of man’s applause? I believe what Sara is saying to us here is that in true hiddenness we will be seen. Most importantly by God, but the world will notice the glory we behold as we’ve been hidden away with The Master. We need not put ourselves on display.
Praying Without Ceasing Is The Key To Friendship With God
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18). Sara says constant prayer can grow out of a place of discipline and into a place of friendship.
Our super-spiritual attitude towards prayer prevents us from encountering God as a friend. Prayer is a conversation. Anything less will continue to leave us in that familiar place and cause us to seek excitement elsewhere. Our stale prayers will remain stale until we begin having true dialogue with The Lord. And here again, practicing His presence is the key to forming a good habit and developing friendship with God.
I invite you to begin a real conversation with God. Ask Him what’s on His heart. If you truly listen, He will answer. His greatest desire is to have a relationship with each of us.
Please comment below and share your thoughts on Sara’s book, Unseen. I would love to know your thoughts.