Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Beautiful Transformation

We had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Taylor’s final high school spring break with a girl’s trip to Disneyland. My good friend, Sherry, and her family happened to be there at the same time and we spent an afternoon together in the park. Her youngest, Carlie, was not excited about our intrusion but agreed to let Mom and Dad enjoy a tall people’s ride while the rest of us flew with Dumbo. Big sister, Cacie, had much to share about her Disney experience but Carlie said barely two words as we waited in line. She kept an apprehensive eye on Taylor and me.

Once awarded a magic feather and allowed to choose which Dumbo to ride, Carlie decided to ride with “Her,” pointing at Taylor. There wasn’t much of a smile as she boarded, but they slipped into a green Dumbo and flew up into the sky! Cacie and I had a grand time flying higher than the buildings.

Carlie was a new girl when the ride ended. She chattered to Mom and Dad about the fun she’d just had and over lunch told Taylor every detail about falling out of her bed at home the week before. She told us all about her pets and her friends and before lunch was over, said she wanted to ride the next ride with “Taylor.” Suddenly, my daughter had a name!

Soon, Taylor was no longer “Taylor,” but “friend.” They played hard and while belly laughing, Carlie looked at me and said, “She’s funny!” When it was time to depart, Carlie hugged Taylor and said, “Goodbye, best friend.” It was a heartwarming transformation and one I won’t soon forget.

It made me think of how it must thrill the Lord’s heart when we stop keeping him at arm’s length and start considering him “friend” or even “best friend.” Perhaps you’ve always known Christ as a friend, but maybe you’re like me and had to learn to trust Him first. I once referred to Him as “The man upstairs.” Over time, I became bold enough to use His name, “Jesus.” Now, He is “Lord,” “Master,” “Friend.” Yes, He has become my best friend, the One with Whom I share everything and hold nothing back.

God has moved no closer to me. He has always been close enough to wrap my arms around and stood still, solid as a rock, drawing me nearer to Himself. As I accepted His invitation, I believe it warmed His heart. He does not need a relationship with me, but He desires one. I add nothing to His perfection and when he holds me close, dressed in the filthy rags of my stained righteousness, he remains holy and blameless. My sins don’t rub off on Him; rather, His glory rubs off on me. Miraculous. The fact that he would desire relationship with the likes of me remains a great mystery, but I am blessed beyond measure that He, indeed, does.

John 15:15 NIV

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

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