At the last conference I attended, a featured speaker arrived to share her testimony of God’s work in her life as a professor. She flew across the country for this event. I found out later that not only had she missed the wedding of a dear friend, but that she had also missed her own birthday in order to join the conference for the weekend.
When I intersected her in the lobby after she spoke, I said, “I’m so sad to hear that you missed a wedding and your birthday to be with us. Thank you so much for the sacrifice you made to get here.”
She said, “Oh, it was fine! I told everyone that I couldn’t wait to come here to be with my friend!”
“Your friend?” I asked, confused. I looked around. I furrowed my eyebrows. “Who are you visiting here? Which friend?” I hadn’t seen her with anyone the whole day.
“Jesus,” she said. Her eyes sparkled. “My friend, Jesus. I couldn’t wait to be here with Him.”
Tears formed in my eyes as I watched her delight in just talking about Jesus. She wanted to come to this Christian conference to spend more time with Jesus with other people who loved Him.
She leaned in and said, “Being with Jesus is better than a wedding or my birthday. In fact, this is my birthday gift, to be with Him here.”
I smiled all day. She couldn’t wait to be with her friend. And she made me see Jesus as the friend I would trade everything to spend time with, too.