I sat on the balcony overlooking the gardens, the humidity kissed air caressed my skin. I was soaking in the quietness and warmth of this tropical paradise, the chosen escape in celebration of my birthday when my solitude was interrupted. It was room service delivering breakfast my friend had ordered to surprise me. It was her idea of a birthday treat. My friend would not have known that I don’t like eating first thing after waking up, that I was looking forward to a quiet morning of reflection and prayer and that I was hoping to have a swim before breakfast. That I would have much preferred to have breakfast by the beach or perhaps to get dressed up and have breakfast in the resort’s air-conditioned dining room. She would not have known because I had not said.

As I sat there trying to mask disappointment and muster gratefulness for this kind deed, I realized that even those closest to us, the ones who love us best, often miss the mark. As I was confronted by this reality another reality washed up on the shores of my consciousness, bringing with it waves of joy; – I am loved by an all-knowing God, from whom not even my deepest desires are hidden (Ps 139). In fact, He delights in granting those desiresHe even knows what I need before I ask. Every fear, every weakness, every disappointment spoken or residing in secret; all is an open book before Him. Those things I’m too ashamed to share with friends, those things I’ve long forgotten, those things I’ll do in the days to come, He sees and knows it all. And he loves me anyway!

So here’s a reminder, our friends, our family, our mentors, spiritual leaders; they sometimes forget, sometimes they elevate their needs above our own. They don’t always share the same enthusiasm towards the things we value, they often disappoint us, it is a trait of our humanity. Take the pressure off those you hold dear and cling tightly to the only almighty, unfailing, ever faithful friend – His name is Jesus!