I was six years old when I had my first best friend. Tonya was only one year older than I was, and she lived directly across the street, a convenient setup for a budding childhood friendship.
But right before I turned seven years old, my family moved to another state halfway across the United States. The day the movers arrived, my parents found me hiding in the living room drapes, crying at the prospect of leaving everything familiar behind, including my best friend Tonya. I was utterly inconsolable, certain this move was the end of life itself.
Of course, life would continue, even without Tonya. And within months of being in my new state, my new church, my new school, and my new neighborhood, I found another best friend. And this one proved even sweeter than the first. For the rest of my childhood, we shared birthdays and holidays, and summer break was often spent at each other’s house. Her parents became my second parents, and vice versa. And when we married, we both shared the big day with the other.
Even now, more than forty years later, our friendship continues. Though we no longer live in the same geographical area, our hearts are intertwined and always will be. We’ve raised children and buried parents; bought, sold, and remodeled houses; and tackled various health challenges and ministry challenges. And though we don’t often have time together, in person or over the phone, we both would drop everything and jump on a plane or train if the other needed us. There is no question. And no matter how much time passes in between visits, when we find ourselves face-to-face, it takes no time at all to share the intimate details of our lives with each other.
We’re friends, through and through, and we have very few secrets between us.
When King David faced difficulties in his life — everything from a fractured family to political upheaval — he too needed the solace of a best friend. And, as cheesy as it may sound, David found solace in his friendship with God. When everything felt precarious, when he sinned and failed, and he had no clue what he should do, he turned to the Father of his soul and poured out his heart.
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)
“My hope is in you all day long,” he claimed. Over and over again, in the stories of David captured on the pages of the Old Testament, we see evidence of that fact. Even when David sinned and tried to hide from the Almighty, he eventually turned to his best friend and laid his heart bare.
What I find compelling, however, is not David’s transparency but God’s.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Psalm 25:14-15 (NIV)
In verse 14, David recalls how the intimacy he shared with the Almighty wasn’t one-sided. Instead, the Lord confided in him, as well, reassuring David of His covenantal promise of relationship. David found solace, not only in his communication with God but in how God simultaneously revealed His heart to him. It was a two-way relationship — friend to friend, face to face. Moses had a similar experience with God, as recorded in Exodus 33:11: “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”
Do you realize what this means for you and me? Don’t rush past this until the truth has fully infiltrated your heart with its implications: God Himself wants to confide in you. The word confide means to share secrets with. That means the One who made you, the One who holds all things in His hands, wants to show Himself to you and share His heart with you. He will not withhold Himself from you but rather longs to draw you into communion with Him. Jesus made the same claim:
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15 (NIV)
Life gets lonely sometimes, friends. There are days when, in spite of the various humans surrounding us, we still feel all alone. But we mustn’t forget: There is One who is already ready to share His secrets with us, One who knows us better than all the others and loves us anyway, One who promises to never leave us and always stay close.
The friend we’ve always wanted and have been waiting for — a best friend. And His name is Jesus.