This is the second post of a series on Soul Friendships. The previous post is Soul Friend with God.
It is impossible for any relationship to develop without time together.
I have a seven-month-old granddaughter who lives in California–and I live in Texas. (It’s simply wrong when grandchildren live that far away.) Just last week my husband and I visited her and her family after a three month period. The first day she was terrified when I looked at her. On the second day she smile and tolerated me. The third day she warmed up enough to let me hold her as long as Mommy was near. By the morning we left, she was comfortable enough to play in the room with me alone.
Only by proximity and time did she begin to trust me enough to lose her fear.
Other relationships are similar. Somewhere we bump into someone as we work, play, volunteer, parent, or worship. Only time and proximity allow us to overcome the fear of intimacy. What if I don’t really enjoy her? What is she is too needy? What if she tells people what I say? Can I risk deliberate time with her and not be sorry later?
Building deeper friendships requires that we take a risk and deliberately spend time alone with someone that may allow us to become buddies.
But a soul friend isn’t just a buddy but an intimate.
The only road there is a lot of shared time knowing each other and developing enough trust to reveal who we really are inside.
Many of us don’t trust God enough to spend time with him. We fear that he is angry at us. We picture him as a critical and demanding judge. Instead of seeing him as our loving Father who wants us to run to him with our hurts and mistakes, we stand back and try to fix ourselves and deal with our shame. We don’t really believe the promise that says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
We stand back instead of drawing near: “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need,” (Heb. 4:14-16).
Enjoying a soul friendship with God involves getting to know him over time to the point where we trust him and want to share everything with him.
God is very gracious and patient as we grow to know him. He gives us time to grow in relationship with him. He isn’t legalistically grading us on a learning curve as to how long it takes us to reach intimacy with him. We are the ones who do that.
So whether you seek a soul friendship with God or with others, an investment of time together is the only way forward. Invest time with God and others today!