|Photo by Cramer Photo|
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! We had the treat of attending Kathryn and Adair’s wedding and it was a delight. 90 minutes in traffic and a torrential downpour almost made us miss out on the ceremony, but thankfully, we made it! Horrifyingly enough, however, we may or may not have run into the glowing bride and her father as they prepared to make their way down the aisle in the back of the church. Even then, Kathryn was gracious, calm, welcoming, and hospitable. Throughout the weekend, she was a radiant bride who dazzled; a bride who exuded peace and overwhelming joy. Congratulations Kathryn and Adair!
So last Thursday, I started to share some highlights from the Friendship study I attended last week using Mary and Elizabeth’s relationship as an example in Luke 1:
“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth…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!”
We already saw that true friendships are marked by encouragement. Ready for some more?
2. Humility—“Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Elizabeth is a living example of Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
It’s not all about Elizabeth. (Something I must tell this Elizabeth daily). Elizabeth, pregnant as well, welcomes her relative for three months. She doesn’t ask “So, how long do you think you may stay?” Nope! Simply, “who am I that you would even come to me?” Elizabeth is a great example of a friend who puts Mary’s needs and situation above her own.
3. Shared Emotion—“As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”
God, in His abundant faithfulness gave Mary and Elizabeth (both pregnant with miraculous babies) each other as friends and confidantes. Over those three months, I’m sure there was laughter, tears, and discussions about birth plans and child rearing.
True friends are those you can share your joy and your grief with and walk through all of life’s emotions together.
4. Faith—”Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Elizabeth strengthens and encourages Mary’s faith. The verse above is one of my most favorite verses in the Bible. One that I cling to when I’m wavering, tired of waiting, and wondering if the thing I’m holding onto really was God.
True friendships encourage you to hold on when you feel like letting go. They’re the ones who carry the torch when you have to stop running. And by praying and speaking God’s truth to you, they encourage you to hold onto your faith, even when you feel like you can’t do it and you have to give up.