“So are you two sisters?”
My friend and I looked at each other from across the tiny exam room and smiled big as her oncologist waited for our answer.
You could say that. Definitely sisters. Sisters in Christ for the long haul…
We first met as new mamas in the back right hand corner of the church sanctuary and immediately connected over sleepless nights, the sweetest newborn smells, and our love for Jesus. Dozens of Bible studies, a bunch more babies, a whole lot of life, and ten years later we walked through her first cancer diagnosis together. Six years after that, we sat knee to knee in that tiny exam room and heard the words we prayed we’d never hear again – that her cancer had returned.
Trials, though brutal in many ways, have granted a unique beauty and depth to our friendship and to our relationships with Christ that wouldn’t otherwise exist. We pray for each other more fervently. We voice gratitude more regularly. We cling to God’s Word more desperately. We love more unselfishly. We worship more extravagantly. And we’re moved to speak the name of Jesus more boldly.
Life is full of joys and trials, but praise God He has not left us to journey on our own. Not only has He given us His all sufficient grace and power, but He’s graciously given us people around us so that together we can remain Jesus-focused, gospel-centered, and Great Commission-minded as we journey together through life’s hills and valleys.
We’re challenged to increase our faith when we learn from mentors like Paul – those farther along in their spiritual journeys – who not only guide us to Truth with their words, but also boldly and consistently live out what they teach. We need encouragers like Barnabas – spiritual peers with whom we walk through life – for mutual support, fellowship, and spurring on as we serve the Lord together. And we should be on the lookout for the Timothys in our lives – the eager students of the next generation – with willing hearts to pour back into these younger friends in the faith.
Have you given much thought to your company lately?
Scripture models beautiful “seasonal” life relationships like those between Paul, Timothy, and Barnabas that should motivate us to pursue intentional relationships with those in the body of Christ. Can you imagine the beauty and depth we could experience with one another and in our relationships with Christ if every single believer found community in the body in this way? Can you imagine the reach and impact we could have for Christ if we selflessly sought out the interest of others, especially through life’s trials?
If you’re already investing in these relationships, thank God for them today (and then pick up your phone and let these people know just how much they mean to you!).
Maybe you haven’t yet fully experienced the kinds of intentional relationships described above. With a willing heart, ask the Lord to provide as you humbly seek out someone to encourage today.
At His feet,
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