Back in early May, I made the decision to turn away a career in engineering to continue schooling in hopes to become a math teacher. However, I am more certain by the day that this change is not the only God wanted to see in my life. (Before I divulge, please allow me to provide some context.) I believe that we are to take up positions, especially careers where “our abilities and greatest passions collide with the world’s greatest needs.” [Romans 12:6-8] Engineering fit the roles of “abilities” and “needs” departments, but not my passion of interacting and helping others. So by continuing my education, I left it up to Andrea to find a job that could provide for both of us, so we could get married this summer. Despite her best efforts, she could not find a place to work that met both her passion and her ability to financially provide, leaving us frustrated and confused about God’s will in our lives.
About a month ago, I was attending church where I heard a sermon out of Judges 20, whose message stated that if we pray and expect events to occur that we know are in God’s will, we need to be in humility before God before it happens. [Judges 20:24-28, although I suggest you read the whole chapter to gain context]. Seeing a parallel between this account and my frustrations this summer, I began humbling myself before the Lord through my verse memorization and more time spent with God through fasting. Within a couple of days of starting this practice, Andrea started to receive interview offers that had strong promise for full-time employment. Gradually throughout the weeks, I also saw my love for the Lord growing and my spirit revitalizing. With this, I thought that I had drawn myself close enough to the Lord again.
I was pleasantly surprised and blessed by the visit of an unexpected friend last weekend. We had fellowship over a meal, and laughed over some silly videos. Afterwords though, we spent a handful of hours talking about relationships – relationships between people and our relationship with God. Then all of the sudden, I remembered the Judges 20 passage again about humility. No doubt I have been spending more dedicated time with communication with the Lord, but for the first time I considered, “What is my relationship like with God, my trusted Friend?”
(Here, I finally divulge.) Although still very much a challenge, I believe that I’m starting to understand what fruit the Lord is trying to produce. God is more than our good King, a King who is worthy of our worship and loyalty. He is also our Friend and Heavenly Father. Just as we mature in our friendships with people, so must our friendship grow with God, my Friend. Even though He could inspect our minds and hearts, He’d much rather hear what is going on from us. Friendships between people don’t last because they must guess what the other is doing; they preserve and strengthen because of a conscious effort to communicate blessings, frustrations, joys and ambitions. If this is the case between people, how much more so between the Lord and us! This is what I need to focus on: making God my friend and not my boss. [James 2:23-24]
I know that I am far away from the “expert” status when it comes to this; similar to the more I learn, the less I know sort of thing. Regardless, I know that I have to make it a lifelong habit to be in close, meaningful and intimate relation with God as my friend and as my King. Of course, I will take the initiative to joyfully learn as much as I can with childlike wonder, but if anyone has any advice or closely related experiences, I would be encouraged to hear from anyone.
I am a Friend of God,