Relating with Our Friends
by Charles R. Swindoll
After God made man, He observed a need inside that life, a nagging loneliness that Adam couldn't shake.
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." (Genesis 2:18)
As a fulfillment to the promise to help Adam with his need for companionship, God got involved:
So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:21-22)
Later we read that the Lord came to relate to His creatures "in the cool of the day" (Genesis 3:8). I take it that such a time must have been a common practice between the Lord God and Adam and Eve.
He considered them valuable, so the infinite Creator-God took time to relate with His friends in the Garden of Eden. He got personally involved. He observed their needs. He carved out time and went to the trouble to do whatever to help them. He cultivated that friendship. He saw it as a worthwhile activity.
I was amused at a cartoon that appeared in a magazine. It was the picture of a thief wearing one of those "Lone Ranger" masks. His gun was pointed toward his frightened victim as he yelled: "Okay, gimmee all your valuables!"
The victim began stuffing into the sack all his friends.
How valuable are relationships to you? If you have trouble answering that, I'll help you decide. Stop and think back over the past month or two. How much of your leisure have you spent developing and enjoying relationships?
Jesus, God's Son, certainly considered the relationship He had with His disciples worth His time. They spent literally hours together. They ate together and wept together, and I'm sure they must have laughed together as well. Being God, He really didn't "need" those men. He certainly didn't need the hassle they created on occasion. But He loved those twelve men. He believed in them. They had a special relationship, a lot like Paul, Silas, and Timothy; David and Jonathan; Barnabas and John Mark; and Elijah and Elisha.
As the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once put in his poem "Youth and Age," "Friendship is a sheltering tree." How very true! Whatever leisure time we are able to invest in relationships is time well spent. And when we do, let's keep in mind we are imitating God, for His Son certainly did.
Excerpted from Stress Fractures, copyright © 1990 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.