Have you ever had a soul-mate? If I understand the term correctly, I have had two. One was a cousin I used to run with when I was a kid. We only saw each other in the summer and at Christmas, but it seemed as though we always picked up where we left off, regardless of how long we had been separated. We both loved to fish, hunt, knock down wasp nests, and generally get into any kind of trouble we could find. This last affinity caused more turmoil in a small town in central Kentucky than I would like to admit. When we grew up, our lives went in different directions and we no longer bothered getting together. So maybe we weren’t soul-mates. Maybe soul-mates are supposed to be for life.
My second soul-mate qualifies in this respect. My wife Jane and I met our freshman year of college, dated for five years, and married before beginning what is now a thirty-four year ministry in the Lord’s church. We have been with each other so long we now know what each other is thinking much of the time, and we can usually predict how the other will react to life’s challenges. We can laugh together and aren’t ashamed to cry together. I am pretty sure we meet the definition of soul-mate.
An obvious difference between these two relationships are the years invested. They are also unique in purpose. My time with my cousin was about filling our time with adventure, and if possible doing so without breaking anything or getting hurt. My wife and I have also been on an adventure, but it has required an interconnectedness of our dreams and very being. I hope to see my cousin in heaven, but I am actively involved in making sure my wife and I are able to appear unashamed before the presence of our Lord. This is also our hope for others.
Jesus is all of these things to us (even a trouble-maker at times), and more. Not only has He connected with us by becoming one of us, but he gave Himself completely to us through His death on the cross. He drew us into an adventure with Him in His glorious church, and gifted us for ministry.
How is Jesus “more” than any other soul-mate? If we have given our lives to Him, there is a moment in time only the two of us know intimately. Do you remember the day you cried out to Jesus and received His grace? Were there sins He gave you the courage to turn from? Has your decision to follow Him as your Savior altered the course of your life and guided you through difficult days and painful circumstances? Our earthly soul-mates might know some of these things, but only Jesus knows them all. I don’t mind sharing my wife with Jesus just as she doesn’t mind sharing me. In fact, our mutual walk with Jesus only makes our walk together sweeter.
You might say this is the one love triangle God blesses. It is also one He uses to transform us and prepare us for our final destination. Love means wanting the people we care about to succeed, even if they must go through some struggles to stand confidently before Jesus. We reprove and rebuke people we love. Certainly, we encourage and affirm them too. But why would we want someone we walk with in faith to miss out on something God has planned for them because we say we love them too much to tell them the truth? Lovers always tell the truth.