Friendships with other women in the Lord are important as we walk in our faith each day. They can become a support system for us in time of need and be our encouragers as we face trials. As I was thinking of an example of friendship from the Bible, my thoughts first went to David and Jonathan. I also thought of many verses in Proverbs that speak of friendship. But instead, the Lord led me to a great example of friendship found in Mark 2.
As Jesus was preaching in Capernaum in a crowded, dusty room, a group of friends came on the scene carrying their paralyzed friend on a mat.
“Some men came, bringing him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.” (Mark 2:3-4)
These friends did three things we can learn about friendship.
They each carried a load.
Each friend grabbed a corner of the mat and began carrying their friend. One person carrying the paralytic would have been too exhausting. But when they each carried a portion of the load, it made carrying the mat manageable for all. This is a great example of being the church to others. We weren’t meant to carry the load alone when we help someone. When each person grabs a corner to help, the load automatically becomes lighter!
The paralytic was willing to be carried.
The paralyzed man could have protested proudly and told his friends not to carry him. But he was willing to put his pride aside and be carried. Sometimes we need to be carried too! We need to tell others when we are not okay and need help. How will our friends know how to help us if we don’t tell them our needs?
They took him to Jesus.
A good friend may take you to coffee, but a great friend will take you to Jesus! The four friends took the paralytic straight to Jesus. Not even a crowd could keep them away. When we take our friends to Jesus, we are taking them to the one who can change everything! I may not be able to change my friend’s situation, but I can take my friend before the Lord in prayer. I may not have the words to say to my hurting friend, but I can sit with them and love them. I may not can change my friend’s discouraging situation, but I can encourage them with the scriptures.
There are many ways to minister, but at the end of the day, let us take our friends to Jesus.