B.F.F. (Best Friends Forever)
High stakes friendship – who would you take on vacation?
I like it that Jesus had best friends. He had his best mates (twelve of them) and then he had three who were his BFFs. His Best.Friends.Forever. If we had to pick his absolute best friend it’d be a toss up between John and Peter. John was the one Jesus wanted sitting next to him at the last meal. John threw his arm around Jesus and leaned on him casually as they ate. They were pretty tight. And then there was Peter, who was so excited to see Jesus making them a post-resurrection breakfast he jumped straight out of the boat, into the sea, with his shoes on and his cellphone in his pocket.
A snowflake in Florida
Best friends are brilliant aren’t they? They’re the friends who are great to be with whatever you’re doing. Going to the bank, grocery shopping, cutting your toenails; even boring stuff is fun because you’re together. It’s not hard work; you ‘get’ them and they ‘get’ you. You click. I love these people. These people are rare and special creatures and if you ever find one, treat them kindly, leave them bowls of milk and little treats by the back door at night and try and lure them back like a shy, snuffly hedgehog. They are special. Rare. A snowflake in Florida.
Of course the pinnacle of friendship is the friend you want to go on vacation with. We went on holiday recently as a family of four, and it was loads of fun; the kind of fun you want to share. So I started to make my mental list. My list of who would be my all-time favourite people to go on holiday with.
Who would you choose to spend those precious few weeks a year with? After all, the stakes are high. It’s cost you money and effort to get away, and you’re jolly determined to have a good time. You can’t invite just any old Bilbo Baggins along.
“And who won’t gag when they see you in your bikini.”
It’s a high pressure decision. Especially when you have a young family, because tempers are going to be tested, behaviour is going to get erratic and scratchy and tired; toys are going to get thrown across the room – and that’s just me I’m talking about. You want someone you can relax and have fun with. And who won’t gag when they see you in your bikini.
Now here’s the thing. When Jesus makes his list of people he’d like to go on holiday with, you’re on it. For him, you’re that friend. The one that makes it fun to go to the bank and wait in line for a form that, as it turns out, they’ve just run out of.
You’re THAT friend. The one that should be lured with bowls of milk and plates of bread, like a snuffly hedgehog.
He gets a kick out of you
You’re the pal who gets to snuggle up to him on the sofa a la John at the Last Supper, and you’re the one he cooks breakfast for even when you’ve been a prize toad and let him down in front of everyone. Yeah, you. He’s wild about you. He gets a kick out of you.
Why do I say this? Can it really be true? Well, let’s just segue neatly into talking about the cross for a moment.
Jesus chose the cross. He really did. He wasn’t forced into it, with his arm up behind his back. It was dreadful and horrific. He got really freaked out about it at the last minute (Gethsemane) and really needed his friends to stay up all night with him. But he went through with it because he had his eyes fixed on the prize.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV)
His unrequited love is requited
What was this joy that he fixated on to get him through the worst hours of eternity? He was already one with the Father, with a permanent home in heaven; there was only one thing missing: His B.F.F. That’s you.
He likes going to the mall with you because you’re the ONE. The one from the romantic movies that the hero can’t live without, will do anything to be with. You’re the joy that was set before him, so that he could endure the cross.
And guess what? He has his joy every day. The romantic movie has its happy ending as the music builds to a crescendo. His unrequited love is requited. He became one with us on the cross, and when we choose him, we can’t ever be apart again.
“he’s not trapped in your body screaming to get out”
You no longer live (on your own), but Jesus lives in you (Galatians 2.20). He’s doing life with you, intimately. Seeing life through your eyes. Going to the bank with you, feeding the cat with you. And it’s not a life sentence in prison; he’s not trapped in your body screaming to get out. The daily tedium of life as you experience it, is sheer joy for him. Because he’s with his beloved; his requited unrequited love, his B.F.F.
Yeah, I know, mind-blowingly crazy isn’t it? Almighty God who has angels to hang out with and rainbows to slide down, likes hanging out with you at Costco or Walmart. Frankly, he can enjoy himself anywhere. That’s a must-have for a BFF in my mind and just one good reason to include him in your day. He’s having a blast - might as well join in!
I mean, just think about it one more time: his happy place is you. He enjoys you. He gets a kick out of hanging out with you in the morning while you eat your soggy cornflakes, yawn, and itch your head. So take a moment (as often as you can) and enjoy him enjoying you. Allow yourself to be aware of him being with you. It’s nice. It’s really, really nice.
After all, he thinks you are the Best. Thing. Ever.
(And he’s not wrong.)