friendJohn 15:15
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.

Receiving Christ at age 19 was the greatest moment in my life. Little did I know that this decision would also develop into a life of tension. Let me try to explain:

1. Early on, I thought I had many friends but because of a decision I made to follow Christ, my friends deserted me and my grandmother and wife  became my closet friend. Jesus was there for sure.

2. New friends came along, mostly from the Christian community but the first few I came to know and commit myself to hurt me and falsely accused me of wrongdoing. I didn’t realize people could be so mean. and oh…btw…Jesus was still there beside me.

3. I committed myself once and again to others simply cause my heart would not allow me to shut off kindness and care. And…I also found a leader pastor in the church community that poured his life into me. Didn’t consider him a friend but more of a father. He seemed to come the closest to the scripture mentioned above in my life. He was my pastor but it seemed like he never withheld ¬†anything from me. (yet later I found he did but only for my protection) Then he died and I was left alone in a wilderness state not sure which direction I should go. Again, Jesus was my silent comfort and strength. He alone brought me through this wilderness.

4. I became a full-time minister and pastor and was told to separate myself from those to whom God has called me to pastor. So I tried but I found the more I tried to separate the more I struggled inside. Who could I talk to? Everything I was learning needed to be shared yet how could I if I was to keep it seperated? Miserable inside. So I talked to my fellow colleagues yet later surprised that whom I confided in was another set up for deeper hurt than ever before. I couldn’t call it a scalpel but more of a wound from that of a knife. Left bruised, bleeding, broken inside. BUT…I must say it once and again, Jesus the Healer still by my side.

5. In the midst of my quit mindset and bruised spirit, Jesus speaks and surprisingly asks me to rise up and lead. How could I say no? It wasn’t a democracy as though I could vote, it was the King of this Kingdom that I committed to long ago. His voice gave me courage and strength I never knew but deep inside I wondered how I could get through…this season of my life. But only He knew what I was made of; the very thing He had built and established could no longer be moved. My Master…day by day…had established something in me that i didn’t know I had. A friendship that knows all hurts, all wounds, all pain and joys of life up to that day.

I know He is My Pastor, My Lord, My Master…but more than that He has become my friend. At His discretion, He reveals Himself as my friend; at other times, My Shepherd…yet all along I know HE IS MY LORD. I gladly serve and honor Him with all that I have.

He is still here today. Forever Faithful…Friend, Pastor, Lord.