Can God Be My Own Dear Close Friend?
Perhaps you have suffered some great sorrow
or disappointment. Perhaps you have been betrayed by friends
in whom you placed your trust. Perhaps you have been hurt by
some injustice, some hatred against which you have found it
impossible to struggle.
It is at times like these, we are sure, that there comes to
you a hunger to know a better and a stronger Friend, a truer
and a wiser justice, a finer and a fairer life than you have
ever lived before.
Do you then yearn to turn over your sorrow and sadness, your
loneliness to some Power beyond yourself? Do you then hope
to see some life beyond your life, to have some Friend
beyond your earthly friends? Do you then yearn to know God
as a dear, close Friend?
If you do, then the Friendship of God is described over and
over again in your Bible. Jesus said time and time again
that God wants to be our own, dear, close Friend. Over and
over, He told what a wonderful friend our Father is.
"What is the secret of your life? Tell me that I may make
mine beautiful, too?" Someone asked a happy, radiant woman.
"God is my Friend!" she answered.
To really know and feel God as a dear, close Friend, there
is something which you, yourself, must do, something which
you, yourself, must believe. For it takes two to be a friend
of God just as it takes two to make human friends.
You must believe, not that God used to be a Friend to men
centuries ago, but that God is your Friend today! You must
believe that not only did men and women know God far off in
the Holy Land, but that you can know him today and can
always know Him!
Perhaps you have come to think of God as a Being far away, a
Being who used to come to this earth centuries past with
thunder and miracle, with lightning and majesty. But if you
really want to feel God as a dear, close Friend, you must
know and feel that this is not so. You must know and feel
that God is in the world within you now!
If you want to know God as a dear, close Friend, you must
see Him and feel Him as a Friend. You must see God's
friendship in the very commonest things of nature. You must
see His friendship in the ripening of a seed, the springing
of the grass, the formation of a feather, the wonders of
your own body. All these declare the glory of God and show
But most of all you must see God's friendship in the
happenings in your own life: You may have regarded God as,
in some measure, the God of the poet and the singer. He is
their God, but as well is He the God of the farmer and the
laborer. You may have thought of God as the God of the
minister and the speaker. He is, but He is no less the God
of the housewife and the lonely widow. God is the God and
the Friend of the ordinary man and woman. He is your Friend
Sometimes you may have thought that God reveals Himself only
at certain consecrated places - the church, the grave, the
mountain top, the place of prayer. It is true that He does
reveal Himself there - for those are the places you would
want a dear close friend to be.
But God is also your Friend while you are at home yes, while
you are away from home; while you are working in a field or
a factory, while you are resting or playing, while you toss
in sleepless anxiety!
Sometimes you may have felt that God is present only at the
unusual times, of your life - at birth, at death, at
weddings, at consecrations. Yes, He is present then, just as
any good friend would be, but He is no less present at the
simple, ordinary happenings of your life - when you take a
walk; when you visit the house of a sick friend, when you
sit before the fire, when you go about your errands, when
you lie down to sleep.
So do not wait for the unusual times and places and
activities to bring you the revelation of God's friendship
for you, but, rather look for Him not without but within.
The voice of God, your dear Friend, is speaking when you
choose the good deed rather than the bad; when you are sorry
for what hurt you may have done. The voice of God, your dear
Friend, speaks when you do an unselfish service, when you
feel pity for the sorrowing or forgiveness for one who has
And the wonderful thing about your dear Friend, God, is
this: earthly friends become strange, they move away or they
die. But God's friendship never changes, it is eternal.
It is like the story of the two hunters who were driven
during a great storm to the shelter of a cave in the
mountains. It was night when they came out and all the
familiar landmarks had been changed or swept away. But one
of them pointed to the evening stars and said: "They're just
the same: We can find our way home by them!"
To believe in God as a dear, close Friend is very much
different than just believing there is a God. Just to
believe that is of little comfort to you unless out of it
comes a longing for Him or a feeling that He is a dear
friend whom you can know and tell your troubles to.
Friendship with God is not only the secret of peace and joy,
but it is the secret of achievement. With God as a dear,
close Friend you will find rest not only from your many
tasks but in whatever you undertake. With God as a dear,
close Friend you will know how to carry your burdens without
being overcome by them.
A farmer was trying to raise a great stone from the ground
with his bare hands. A wise friend said to him: "I will show
you how to lift it more easily." The friend made a lever out
of another stone and a plank. Soon, with a quarter of the
labor, the stone was raised. In the same way, when you know
God as a dear Friend, He says: “Come, I will show you how to
raise your sorrow and your loneliness, my child.”
God’s fellowship, God’s friendship was never more clearly
understood and pointed out as when Jesus said to His
disciples: “When ye pray, say Father.” Why, just the word
“Father” paints a different picture of God. You can be a
dear friend of your “Father.” You can look to your Father as
one who supplies your needs, as one who guides you and
comforts you, as one to whom you can tell all your little
cares and aches and troubles!
A man stopped at a lowly cabin in a remote section of the
country and asked for directions. Thanking the kind
gentleman who gave them to him, he asked: "Sir, do you live
here all alone?" With a warm smile be answered; “Just me,
and my heavenly Father." He knew God as a dear, close
Friend, just as you can know Him.
Yes, your life may be full of work and problems and
troubles. There might be so many problems which seem to
demand an immediate answer, there might be so many things
which take up every minute and seem to leave none for God,
your Father and Friend.
But if you really and truly want to know God as a dear,
close Friend you must put aside time to become acquainted
with Him. And surely it is possible to put aside ten minutes
a day to get better acquainted with God! In these golden
minutes you have enough time to relax your body, your mind
and your spirit. In these minutes you have enough time to
open a little door in your life and let His spirit and His
friendship flow gently in!
These few minutes can be an inner temple where each day you
can renew your closer friendship with God. As the Psalmist
said: “Commune with your own heart upon your bed and be
still.” Just these few moments of communion will give you
such wonderful peace and balance that they will often take
you through the most deep-felt sadness and the most
Just to be still and commune with your own heart is to feel
the friendship of God. It is His voice which you hear in the
silence of your soul. A Chinese philosopher once said: "Go
often to the house of your friend lest weeds spring up in
the path and you cannot find the way."
When you have a good earthly friend you get great joy from
going to visit that person. To listen to your friend speak
or to speak to your friend is in itself a joy. In like
manner, if you want God to be your dear, close Friend, you
must go often to his house, you must speak to Him and listen
When you are with a good friend you do not always ask that
friend for something. You do not speak all the time. There
are moments, even hours, when good friends are together that
no words are spoken, yet both experience wonderful peace and
Prayer is the language of God, the language of communion
with Him. It is mingling your own life with God's great
life. It is listening to God.
A man who was overwhelmed with troubles, debts, and worries
could stand them no longer. Although it was late at night,
he went to the house of a retired minister. He rang the bell
and the old man greeted him quietly and invited him into the
front room. For awhile the man poured out his many troubles
to the minister who listened sympathetically and quietly.
When the man had ceased speaking, the minister did not give
him any advice, but just said: "Let us pray."
He got down on his knees and the man did likewise. As the
minister prayed, the man looked at him. His face was a fine,
old face, worn by many years of not-too-easy ministry. But
it was the face of a fine, old man talking to an old Friend.
The prayer the minister prayed had no flowery phrases in it.
It was the prayer of an elderly man talking to a Friend to
whom he would rather talk than to anyone on earth. He retold
in simple words the problems of the man beside him. He did
not ask God immediately to solve all these problems. He just
told his dear Friend, God about them and asked God to give
His friendship to this saddened man.
As the man left the house of the old minister, he looked
back and saw the little house with the lamp still shining in
the window. At last he felt what dear, close friendship with
Prayer That I May Know God as a Dear,
“…The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed;
but my kindness shall not depart from thee…” Isaiah
Dear, loving Father, whose greatness covers
the whole, wide universe, yet who comest to me even in a
little prayer like this, alone with Thee I am not alone.
From out all the great vastness of space, Thou comest even
to me. Thou makest my darkness light and the light glorious.
Thy heart beats with mine. Thy spirit is with me.
O dear Father, be with me when no earthly friend is near. Be
with me in times when I can call on no one else. Be with me,
Father, from the time I wake up until I go to sleep – and
all through the hours of the night. Let me feel Thy
friendship which is so different from all the other
friendships that I might have.
Help me to feel that friendship so dear and close, loving
God. Help me live with Thy friendship so that everyday I can
look up into Thine eyes without shame or fear.
Help me to feel Thy friendship, dear Father, in every sunset
and every star that shines. Help me to feel Thy wonderful
love, nearer and dearer than any other! Yes, dear Father,
help me to feel Thee as a dear close Friend, walking with me
today and tomorrow and forever and ever. And so I cannot
tell Thee how happy this thought makes me feel, my Father. I
can just stay here and be the happiest person alive …
because Thou art my Friend.