By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
Friendship and community are beautiful gifts given by God. God made man to be in relationship with Himself and with others; we see in Genesis 2:18 that it is not good for man to be alone. Yet it is not just the act of being around other people, but in authentically doing life with one another that true enriching community and fellowship is born. How can we foster and invite this concept into our daily lives?
Ask God Who
A beautiful truth of being a Christ-follower is that the Lord desires to be part of our lives. He delights when we come before Him to inquire what He deems His best for us and what is not of Him. 1 Corinthians 15:33 reminds us that bad company corrupts good character, but often from the outside, it is hard to know what the inside looks like. Yet when we come before God to ask Him to reveal who He has for us, we can rest assured that He knows best. This is why it is important to invite Him into every friendship and relationship we enter into. He can see the inner workings, intentions, and facts behind things, and it is through His revelations and urgings that we can be guided to partner with the right people. He hears conversations we do not hear and sees what we cannot see. I like to say that He will reveal His golden flowers in the garden of your life, so you know who to weed out. Once you know who He has for you and who is not for you, it is then that you can authentically do life with the ones He has called into your inner circle.
Sharing the daily glimpses into life adds to doing life with others. This can mean sharing the shuffle of things daily with work or offering a peek into hopes and plans you are making. This also grants access to the prayers and preparations for the events and seasons to come. During a season of singleness, it is a great gift to pray with those God has brought around you in preparation for a season of being married, if that is what He has for you. These friends become a safe space to share what a career or job may really look like and to enter prayer for the next steps you may have to take. It is also a place where, when God brings long-awaited prayers to pass, the joy can be shared more richly among those who prayed with and for you. Daily glimpses also invoke genuine feelings. Not every day will be spared from anxiety or worry, but it is not fought alone either. The vulnerability to share with your golden friends what is happening opens the door to authentic sharing of hearts and minds, and God often uses others to convey words of encouragement or verses of hope.
Sharing in Joys and Sorrows
Romans 12:15 shares the encouragement to “rejoice with those rejoicing, and mourn with those in mourning,” and this is an example of how to do life together. Doing life together does not mean that everyone in your innermost circle will be experiencing the same events as you, but it does mean they can experience such events with you. It provides the sincere place of coming together and comforting when there is needed comfort, encouraging where there is a need for encouragement, and celebrating when at last the sun rises after a long enduring night. How much more will you feel and see the victories with others too when you have experienced the lowly trenches with them? In doing life with someone in the hard times, their joys become your joys as well. In the same vein, the hopeful prayers and intercessions you long for can be shared with others, and they too can share in the ecstatic cheers when at long last, your prayers are answered. Opening up to what life is like offers a place of raw and truthful communication. It is only in genuinely living out life alongside one another that we can tap into that experience of deep joy after deep sorrow. It is there that the vibrancy of life can be shared among those you are closest with.
In doing life with others, significant milestones and moments in life then become grander in the moment. A special event such as a wedding or announcement of pregnancy becomes a collective gladness. For it is in those moments that those who were with you in the waiting process or a kind brother or sister in the darkness can walk with you into the delight of fulfilled desires. It is also where memories can be made and deeply recalled in life. At the end of life, moments with such treasured people and events become the pearls we string in gladness around our necks. Moments where common happiness abides, and where even the mention of the memory brings back a smile.
Doing life with others entails embarking on the journeys and paths that life will bring in both the good and the bad. It is not exclusive to only the bright times, but it is in enduring with others through the storms that the clearing of the storm that the gladness of rejoicing can truly be felt. And in the same way, doing life with others can provide support and fellowship your heart needs in the course of life. God did not intend for life to be done alone but along with others. Ask Him who He wants you to do life with.
Thank You for fellowship and brotherhood among kindred spirits. Lord, it is a gift that You did not make us to navigate our lives alone but instead call us to do life together. Help us know who You have for us to live our lives with, and please encourage them in the same call. Foster friendships and community among us that we may encourage and point one another towards You in all things and that You may use us as vessels in loving and uplifting one another. Please bless these relationships for Your glory, Lord, for we know that the family established by Your blood is family established for all of eternity.
In Jesus' Name,
Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys leading a high school girls’ small group, cooking, and spending time in tree houses. Her latest books, Dear Young Sparrow and Unveiled are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan.