I think you all know what happens to a lion without a tribe. But if not, let me give you an insight of two possibilities. The lion eventually dies of being killed by other tribal lions, or the lion starves because he/she doesn’t have other lions to help hunt and kill for food.
We, too, need a tribe. People that support, comfort, encourage, help, and pray for us when in need. We need others to feed us when we are hungry, care for us when we’re sick, and give comfort during a struggle. We need nourishment physically, and spiritually through God’s word.
But what if you don’t have a tribe?
Jesus says, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Let’s reflect on the word “rest” in this verse. Rest, to most of us, means a time of sleep, to recover strength, or relaxation. A time to eliminate stress. A time of doing nothing, physically and mentally. But Jesus isn’t talking about that kind of rest. Rest in this verse means spiritual rest. A time of surrendering our weaknesses, challenges and burdens. A time to leave everything at the Cross. Jesus, in this verse, is Our Lion. And you, in this verse, is YOU!
I have always had friendships. And making friendships has always been easy for me. However, a few years ago, when my relationship with Jesus changed, making and maintaining the friendships I had became very difficult for me. Some have been challenging to hang on to over the years. And some are rekindled just over a few words, and a smile.
But as I get older, friendships are tougher to develop, and harder to find. We are all in different seasons, have different stories, and lead different lives. We’re not all the same age, as we were in high school and college. So, the diversity isn’t as organized. I find myself – when looking for friendships – in a world of nothing but a high waving sea. With no sight of land, and nothing to grab on to. Having a tribe at 46, unless you’ve never moved anywhere in your life, is hard! Even in today’s world of social media.
So. Who can you lean on? Who can you find to pray for you when you need prayer? Who can encourage you during the difficult times? Who can bring life to, what seems, a dead-end situation? Who is going to feed you and lead you? Who has an answer to your confusion and misdirection. Who is going to sharpen you and hold you accountable? Who wants to give you a path that is easily yoked? Who wants to give YOU rest?
Tribes can be fun, and cool, and trendy. And what we call “our people”, nowadays. They once were called cliques; a term that had a hard judgmental shell. However, now the term used seems so innocent and bulletproof. But when Jesus isn’t included, your tribe is liable to be destroyed; either from within, or from the unseen. Your tribe can only see within its own. The oppressed are…well, still oppressed. And the poor in spirit are still poor.
Think about your “tribe”, and ask yourself what kind of people you are allowing to influence you spiritually. Are their eyes open to what is going on outside? Are they letting in lone lions? Weak, poor, and hungry lions? Are you sensitive to those who struggle finding a tribe? Is your tribe being led by Jesus?
We are called to be like Christ. Christ had a tribe that we call His disciples. He taught them, led them, prayed for them, and showed them how to love others. He gave them His Spirit. He laid down His life for His friends. I’m thankful today that I am apart of His tribe. I’m thankful to call Him “friend”. And I’m thankful for those who sharpen me. Those who hold me accountable and love me in the dark. Find your tribe!
If you are in need of prayer, please reach out to me. It would be my honor and my pleasure to stand in prayer for you.