Scripture: Luke 1:35–42
Key Verse: “In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” (Luke 1:39–40)
When I was growing up, a friend gave me a greeting card that had a drawing of mice standing in a circle with the caption, “Think of what it means to be in our small circle of friends.” The inside of the card read, “It means you’re weird.” I still laugh when I think about that card, mainly because it was true. I think we were weird! (Notice I am using the past tense!) What the card was really communicating to me was that while we may have considered ourselves weird, we were really sharing something in common. Our “weirdness” was shared.
Friends are important for several reasons, and, as a teen in the military, having friends who share your experience is especially important because other military teens “get” you. They understand the fear you encounter during a parent’s deployment, the frustration and sadness of PCS moves, and the inconsistency linked to never knowing what is next. Military teens understand these issues in ways no one else does.
I love this passage in Luke in which Mary learns what is about to happen to her—something terribly strange, impossible, and unique. What does she do when she finds out she’s pregnant? She goes “with haste into the hill country.” Mary went as fast as she could to visit her cousin and friend Elizabeth to share not only her news, but Elizabeth’s news as well. Mary knew that Elizabeth was experiencing something similar to her own—a seemingly impossible pregnancy! From their interaction, we get a glimpse into the hearts of Mary and Elizabeth—the shared joys, hopes, and even moments of uncertainty. As they encouraged each other, they showed us the importance of friendships and of having someone with whom to share the common joys and burdens of life. True friends are a gift from a loving, caring God! And we should open our hearts to receive the friends God may bring our way.
In order to share life’s joys and burdens, there are needs to be a level of trust. When we don’t trust, we can become fearful and withdraw from other teens, not wanting to share life with them. How can turning to God help you build trust and develop meaningful friendship in spite of PCS moves?
This week take the time to reconnect with a friend who has moved. Post an encouraging word on Facebook. Text them, Snapchat—or send them a letter!
Jesus, thank you for the gift of friends who understand what it means to be a military teen. Help me to encourage my friends while I trust and invest in those around me.