The Joy of Being Friends with God

“…Give me again the joy of your salvation…” (Psalm 51:14)

When I was a young boy, one of my closest friends was my cousin. We were about the same age and naturally, we became real close. We played basketball. Played cowboys and indians. Watched videos. Fish. It was like Batman and Robin. Or Lone Ranger and Tonto. Or Dolphy and Panchito…mmm,  I better stop here.

Until one summer…

I forgot how it happened but somehow we hit a snag in our friendship. He did something. I said something. Tempers erupted. I turned my back. He turned his. And for close to a year, we refused to talk to each other. It was war. And I wasn’t willing to lay down my weapons and surrender. Neither was he.

That was a difficult time for my young life. Somehow, knowing you are at odds with your good friend (and a relative at that!) became a source of discontent and lack of peace. I was irritable. I lost my zeal for the things I did. And for close to a year, I wasn’t really myself. Deep in my heart, I wanted to reconcile. But my pride overshadowed my desire to reach out to my cousin.

This may have been how the Psalmist felt by the tenor of his request:

“…Give me again the joy of your salvation…” (Psalm 51:14)

That should be the request of every person enmeshed in sin.

You see, sin is separation from God. It cause a strain in your relationship with Him. It shakes your friendship with God. It cuts your connection with Him. No matter how big or how small your sin is, it has the same effect — robs your joy, diffuses your zeal, extinguishes your zest for life.

Look at your life today. Do you have joy in your heart?

No, I am not talking of fleeting fun that you can get from a few bottles of beer or a two-hour movie. No, I am not referring to being happy like when you pass the board exams or win in a lottery. I am talking about JOY — that deep and profound exaltation of one who is right with God, whose conscience is clear, and whose soul is at peace.

Some movie actress was interviewed on TV the other day. She just ended a seven year relationship with a man who never married her but sired her three children. When asked about her plans, she paused for a second as if holding back the tears, and with a trace of cracking of her voice she replied, “I just want to be happy.”

There are many out there like her. Or some readers of this block may be. They recognize the emptiness in their hearts and the meaninglessness of their lives. Unfortunately, they do not know what they need. Booze? Success? Wealth? Sex? Another non-committed relationship?

The human heart longs for only one thing. To be right with God. To be reconciled with Him. To shun sin and embrace life.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. This is the best time to confess your sins and return to God. That is one step towards peace. One step towards contentment. One step towards inexplicable joy — the kind of joy brought about by God’s salvation!

A blessed lenten season to you, my friend!

Bobby Q.

P.S. Today, my cousin and I are still very good friends. And I protect our friendship as best as I can. And what a joy it truly is!

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