A true friend is hard to find. We all have that someone in our life that lights up the room when we are with them. Just merely being in their presence makes you feel special. I have been blessed to have a few close friends like this in my life, and I know that when I’m with them, I will be encouraged, uplifted, and inspired to be my best self.
In Luke 1, we are briefly introduced to Elizabeth when Mary goes to visit her for a few months during their pregnancies. It doesn’t say how well they knew each other, just that they were cousins.
From the text we can can draw a few conclusions:
- They were both women of faith who loved the Lord (Luke 1:6, Luke 1:28)
- They were both pregnant by way of a miracle (Luke 1:24-25, Luke 1:30-31)
- Elizabeth was older (beyond child-bearing years) and Mary was younger (still a virgin and betrothed to Joseph) (Luke 1:7, Luke 1:27)
When Mary arrives at the home of Zacharias and Elizabeth it says,
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.” Luke 1:41-45
Can you imagine the excitement that must’ve filled the room at that moment? But even more so, can you imagine how Mary’s heart must’ve been full because of Elizabeth’s uplifting words? It says Mary responded as follows:
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.” Luke 1:46-49
It’s easy to see in this short, but very significant passage in Luke, the bond that these two women shared. Elizabeth and Mary exemplify what a godly friendship should be. Despite their differences in age, and surely life experiences, they were able to connect with each other because of the things they had in common.
Friendship Should Compliment the Other
Elizabeth and Mary each brought something special to the friendship.
In Elizabeth, Mary found encouragement and edification. In Mary, Elizabeth found joy and fulfillment.
Mary, being the younger of the two, must’ve felt validated and emboldened that an older woman like Elizabeth could see how blessed she was, and likewise, Elizabeth, being the older, must’ve found so much encouragement to be near someone that God had chosen to do His work.
God was working in both of them, and they were able to share in that similar, yet so personal experience together.
We’re Not Meant to Be Alone
My dear friends, this story reminds us that we were not meant to walk through this life alone. God created us for community. He even said as much when He created Eve (Genesis 2:18). Adam needed a companion, so God created one for him.
Sometimes we don’t fully comprehend what God is doing in our lives, and it takes a friend who has maybe walked a similar path before us to come along and help us to see how God is working in our lives.
It might just be that we need encouragement when we’re going through some trials. God knows this life is hard.
2 Corinthians 1:4-5 reminds tells us that we can use the comfort God has given us to comfort others that are going through difficult times:
“so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
When we have a friend, we don’t have to bear our burdens alone.
“If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:10
Friends Encourage Growth
True friendships are hard to come by, and I believe, are orchestrated by God, when we do find them. When you finally find that one person, the one that fills you with life and will walk with you and encourage you and cry with you and even redirect you when needed, grab on to them and cherish them, and be the best possible friend you can be to them.
As we learned from Elizabeth and Mary, a true friendship goes both ways. There will be days you need them more than they need you and other days that they need you more.
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” Proverbs 18:24
For many years of my adult life, I felt lonely. I was married and I had children and lots of acquaintances, but I never had a friend that could fill me up the way Elizabeth and Mary did for each other. I prayed for many years that God would send a woman into my life to be that kind of friend for me.
In recent years, I can say that I have found that friend. In fact, I have not only found one friend but several friends.
In these friendships, I have learned how to be an even better friend, how to be a better wife, mom, and person, in general.
A good friend should inspire us and encourage us to chase after our dreams and to not give up until we catch them. They will emboldened us to go after things in this life that we always thought were out of reach.
Together, we encourage and build each other up. After all, that is the purpose of a friend.
“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17
When you realize that you are not alone in this world, that there are others like you, going through similar experiences, you can identify the parallels and work through things together by way of prayer, support and encouragement.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
I hope and pray that you can experience the love and joy of a friendship ordained by God. If you do not have a friend like this, I encourage you to pray, as I did, because God is faithful and He hears you, and He will answer you.
To follow the whole series of Journey to Christmas, click here: https://jenniferjabbour.com/the-journey-to-christmas-advent-series/
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