I’m absolutely sure that only in a world where God is both sovereign + kind could I find myself sitting on a park bench listening to my ex-wedding photographer preach the Gospel into the wreckage of my cancelled wedding and fallen-apart plans. “The only thing I have to offer you that’s actually going to help is Jesus,” is what she said.
More than I needed affirmation of my decision or advice for moving forward with my broken life, I needed to be reminded of the Gospel’s good news, of my right standing before the Father because of Jesus, of our eternal it is well assurance.
This sent me into a season of uncovering a deeper, dearer understanding of this good news, a strengthened conviction that the Gospel does indeed change everything. Yes, the Gospel is good news for my eternal salvation –but also, it is good news for my heartbreak, my insecurity, my relationships, my work-life balance, my people. When I know I already have everything I need in Jesus, I can love people from a place of abundance instead of lack. When I believe I’m already safe, I don’t have to respond in fear or self-preservation. When I remember that it ends with eternal glory, I can see hard circumstances as the light, momentary afflictions God says they are.
Much like my dear photographer turned friend, the best I have to offer is always Jesus. More than a friend uncertain needs my advice on her next steps, a friend caught in sin needs practical steps for change, or a friend grieving needs to be reminded of the good to come from it –each needs to hear again the glory of the Gospel, to be reminded of her forgiven state before the Father because of Christ, to be invited once more to place her confidence in our Resurrected King.
I believe more than ever that perhaps our greatest act of friendship is to turn one another’s eyes again toward Jesus, to preach the Gospel into the painful, uncertain and unspectacular circumstances of life, to hold together to this confidence that is ours in Christ. That this good news eternal is also good news for now. That the more we understand the height and depth and breadth of this gospel, and that it changes everything, the more we’ll walk around believing it’s the best we’ve got –and may that compel us to give it away.