Are you in the middle of a hard season right now?
Maybe you feel trapped in a dead-end job.
You’re battling through tough circumstances in your marriage.
Just graduated and not sure where you’re going next.
Feel like you’re running uphill in ministry.
Can’t seem to catch your breath financially, spiritually or emotionally.
I’ve been there.
But regardless of what type of season you’re in—a frustrating one or a super fruitful one—I’ve learned there are four different people that I need in my life. Four people that I need to learn and grow (and some days survive). And four people I think you need too, in every season.
God knows that we need people. And Jesus shows us how important community is in the story of the paralyzed man in Mark chapter 2.
Basically Jesus had come to town and everyone wanted to see him #CelebrityStatus. He was preaching in this house and it got so packed that no one else could fit inside, so people started gathering outside to listen or even just catch a glimpse of him.
Then we meet four guys. Four dudes who were carrying their paralyzed friend. These four guys wanted to get their friend to Jesus. Seeing the massive crowd they “made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’”
The four faithful friends did absolutely everything they could to bring the paralyzed man to Jesus. And he is healed. How awesome is that?!
I only hope that I have four people like this around me. Who are they? These are the four people we need in our lives at all times:
- A close friend who loves you and loves Jesus.
We all need friends in our lives, those people we laugh with, cry with and share crazy memories with. But there is a certain type of friend that is different than the others, the friend who loves you, and loves Jesus enough not only to be there for the good times, but also through the difficult times. The friend who isn’t afraid to tell you the hard truth, because they love you enough to do that.
That’s the type of friend we need in our lives at all times, the type of friend who will lead us to Jesus.
A friend to pray for you.
Listen to you.
Cheer you on.
Love on you.
And you do the same for them.
But equally as important, a friend who will challenge you when you’re wrong.
Give you perspective.
And love you enough to have those hard conversations.
Because a friend who loves you and who loves Jesus knows you’re not always perfect, and at times they want to push you deeper in your faith more than they want to tell you what you want to hear.
And that’s hard. But this is the type of friend we need.
- A mentor.
Mentors are a little different from friends. They’re usually someone who’s a few years older. Someone who’s a couple steps ahead in their life, career and relationship with Jesus. Someone whose life you admire and is a model for where you want to be in the future.
Mentors provide leadership.
They help you avoid the mistakes they may have made.
Give you confidence.
The best mentors invite you to learn from them, no strings attached.
Meet with or talk to your mentor every few weeks, once a month or every couple of months. Share about the season you’re walking through, but even more important than that, listen. Just listen to what they have to say, and I guarantee you’ll come away more prepared to handle whatever circumstances you’re facing.
- A Christian counselor.
I hate to tell you, but you have issues. You’re pretty messed up. It might sound cliche, but find a counselor. A Christian counselor is able to look at your life from a godly, unbiased perspective and offer healing in a way not many people can.
I know for myself finding a Christian counselor has been huge. This person has a way of dealing with my crap like no one else can, and is not only able to listen to me, but is also equipped to show me ways to heal.
Even if you’re not struggling with a specific problem or dealing with anxiety or depression right now, I would still recommend going to see a Christian counselor and doing so regularly. It’s better to address the symptoms before they become a full-blown sickness.
No matter how many friends, mentors or counselors we have in our life, we need Jesus above everyone else. In Jesus, we have no better friend. He has to be at the center if we ever hope to find healing and growth in the middle of crazy seasons.
Talk to him.
Confide in him.
Cry out to him.
Depend on him.
Find joy in him.
Look to him for peace.
Just be real with Jesus, and trust that he’s there in whatever season you’re in right now. Make him a part of your day, every day.
We all need these four people in our lives, no matter the season: a friend who loves you and loves Jesus, a mentor, a Christian counselor, and most importantly, Jesus.
Do you have these four people in your own life? Is one or more missing? Is there a fifth person you need in your life?
We all go through hard seasons, but with these four people we can walk through each and every season that comes our way, growing stronger in our relationship with Jesus despite the circumstances.
This article originally appeared here.