If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:10-12
The towering giants dwarfed us all, one December visiting a redwood forest near San Francisco. Our teeth chattered and we shivered in our too-thin jackets, but we lingered long enough to marvel. Those ancient, majestic trees seemed to reach into the heavens. Aloud, we concluded their root system must grow deep inside the earth to keep them from toppling over and crashing to the ground.
“Not so,” our guide assured us. “Notice no redwood grows alone, but in ‘families’ of other redwoods. Their roots intertwine with each other, hence their strength.”
“Cool,” our grandson said as I wrapped my arms around him to keep us both warm.
Our group headed back to the gift shop, the thoughts of hot chocolate hastening our steps. As we held the steaming mugs to thaw our hands and sipped the warm sweetness, I thought about this: “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
The Lord expects us to get involved in the lives of those who are struggling to survive. Two friends can help one another, but three friends working together can develop an even stronger bond.
Like the redwoods, we need each other for support, encouragement, and strength. We are created for fellowship and individuality, but not loneliness and solitude. Some of us are blessed with a strong family structure filled with unconditional love. We rejoice with those closest to us in the good times and we lean upon each other in the inevitable bad times. Others, through death, divorce, or abuse, have no choice but to persevere alone. Whatever your earthly family, all believers are our Father’s adopted sons and daughters. We are a part of His family.
How can you reach out to someone who might be in danger of toppling over –someone trying to stand alone? Step out in faith and serve others, and serve Him.
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Carol Guthrie Heilman is a published writer with articles and short stories in a number of newspapers, including Blue Ridge Country, Country Home, and Reach Out, a Christian magazine. She is the co-writer of Just Go and is presently working on a novel. Carol lives with her husband in the mountains of NC.
Read Carol Heilman’s devotions.