because I practice self-preservation

How often I attempt to sabotage our friendship.

I have two friendships, actually. The first one, the one with my needs, is sometimes the most precious one to my heart.

I know my needs. I know them by heart. I know my need to get well, to drink more water, to take better care of myself when I am sick. I know my need for security, to know that I am able to financially provide for myself, to know I am doing a good job at everything I do. I know my need for love, to know that I can dare to love others authentically and deeply because they love me authentically and deeply.

I am well acquainted with my needs. We are good friends and this is not the friendship that I sabotage. Instead I put forth desperate efforts to ensure that this particular friendship, this deep relationship between my needs and I, will be well-protected.

My other friendship really only exists to help me keep my need friendship alive.

Because Jesus can meet my needs. God can fill the hole in my heart. The story of redemption becomes a Wal-Mart for my soul. I carefully pick the items that will best help soothe my hurts and protect my needs. My friendship with God becomes a vehicle to happiness.

And this friendship, this one with the holy Wal-Mart, becomes the one that I try to sabotage.

Because when my needs aren’t met and I am sitting in the corner counting my losses, and my hurts aren’t bandaged and I am left picking at the scabs, I realize that I have been in friendship with the wrong Jesus. This hole in my heart was not filled by God. I think in some ways that it has grown ever bigger, with more needs and more discontentments and longing…so much longing…for a grace that I cannot accept.

I realize that I have been protecting my friendship with my needs by forming a friendship with a band-aid.

And I realize that friendships with band-aids never work because eventually that band-aid will turn brown from the old blood still seeping through it. I will pull it off my skin and I will throw it away. The garbage will go to the place where garbage goes and someday it will be burned. And my friendship will be nothing more than ashes.

But then this GodMan reminds my heart that He was never a band-aid and my broken heart that is still weeping over my disintegrated friendship realizes that my true friendship with Him is not sabotaged. I realize that I can never destroy this friendship because He is a person and a friendship goes both ways. I remember that I don’t always like Him. I remember that sometimes He demands everything. I remember that He does not fit comfortably and that is why I choose to forget Him and focus my affections on the band-aid.

But then I remember that sometimes He laughs with me and we share inside jokes and secrets that only come from those deep friendships. I remember that He gave all. I remember that He is so beautiful and holy and that I can laugh and dance and worship in His presence and He changes me so that I don’t need band-aids.

I remember that I love because He loves first. He will never let me sabotage our friendship. When I try to create new versions of our friendship that involves band-aids and meeting my needs; He reminds me that every time I do this, I always end up wanting that friendship to end.

The friendship with my needs becomes less important because I am satisfied with the friendship with my God.

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4 thoughts on “because I practice self-preservation

  1. Wow! 🙂 I see this in a total new light. The friendship we have with our needs all boils down to our own effort trying to “keep it going” but the friendship we have in Jesus is so easy because He is the One who keep it going all accustomized to how we are. So personalized, so close to heart. Yet we sometimes push Him away, He doesn’t even blame He just waits patiently for us to turn back to Him. He always remind us that He is our No. 1 listener, No. 1 fan. 🙂 and when we focus on the person of Jesus, the friendship we have with our needs flows supernaturally effortless. 🙂

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