Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)
There is real strength in numbers. This is the secret behind family and community and countries.
This is true when it comes to safety, certainly. And it applies to any difficult task or project or challenge. Going it alone is harder. Not only does it take two or three or four times as much time and effort. It is also demoralizing.
As human beings, we are more easily overwhelmed when we are isolated or perceive ourselves to be alone. The offer of help doesn’t only lighten our material load; it lightens our hearts.
This is why Paul tells us to “encourage each other and build each other up” in 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
The first time I read this verse, I thought of my family.
I have three adult sons, all living at home, and we depend on each other in many different ways. I am very grateful for their presence. Having been a hardworking single mom with no real support system throughout their childhood. I almost feel that this arrangement is a second chance for us all. I want to strengthen them and in doing so I strengthen myself.
This verse also reminds me however that we need to learn to work together on the many remaining projects in the restoration of the lovely old house we bought in 2012. To be sure, we worked hard in the beginning but health issues and burn-out interfered. It is time I think to get back on track and I intend to pray about this!
I also think of my dear friend Tara and the women’s Bible study I attend. I think that learning and growing with our sisters in Christ is multi-strand process too.
Heavenly Father, thank you for my wonderful family and my church community. Please help my boys and myself to be healthy and strong in body, mind and spirit. Please give us optimist and faith and unite us in love. Please be with us as we overcome challenges and grant us the persistence and courage to accomplish what we need to do. Please also bless my church community and all those involved in the small groups ministry. Amen.