A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.
- Proverbs 17:17
There is one thing I firmly believe God intentionally modeled for us in the life of Jesus.
Throughout scripture, we get a clear picture of the place in which Jesus was born, raised and the people who may have lived within those communities.
The lessons we find in these chapters of the New Testament show us one very important truth about transitions and about life. The lesson is- we are meant to live in community.
The people we surround ourselves with and the people we go to for support in times of transition can have a big impact!
A favorite story in the bible for me is at the beginning of the gospel of Luke- when Mary the mother of Jesus goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth. The journey began after the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her about her miraculous pregnancy and to reassure her. (Luke 1:30-32)
Gabriel also shared the information with Mary that her cousin Elizabeth (who should not have been able to bear children) was 6 months pregnant. This was no small journey for a newly pregnant teenager. This trek was 90 miles of uncharted terrain and would have taken 4 to 5 days, if not longer.
I believe God shared this information with Mary so that she would have someone to lean on in her transition. The biggest transition of her life up to this point and one that no doubt would require a tremendous amount of faith. God knows that we need to surround ourselves in times of great change with people who are going to help support us through.
When we share in our transitions, in our moments of trusting God in big and small ways he brings grace and confirmation to everyone involved. Mary’s visit was not an easy trip, involving physical risk and lengthy travel. It is the example of the verse in James 2, “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17)
We were never meant to do this life alone! Jesus was a product of God and the people He called to Him were there for one another through many transitions.
God, I am surrounded by you. Your love is evident all around me. The fullness of your grace is obvious everywhere and for that I am grateful. I pray Lord that as I weather the transitions of this life, that I may be surrounded and uplifted by other believers that seek you alongside me. I want to help to encourage others to put action behind their faith and joy into their chapters. You are in every chapter and page- write your story on our hearts Lord. Give us discernment to implement who to keep in our innermost circles of influence and remove those who wish to do harm.
Reflect: Who am I allowing in my circle? How are these people bringing me closer to my faith and how can I also bring them closer to theirs?