Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them 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 quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
“How are you?”
That conversation kept repeating itself by various people. Although I knew no one, I suspected those answering the question were all lying.
I was sitting in an urgent care waiting room. Those asking the question were nurses escorting patients back to the physician.
Why would you visit urgent care if you were ‘fine?’
Yet, how many of us automatically answer we’re “fine” when asked, when in reality we’re anything but?
On Sunday mornings we paste a light-hearted smile on our faces, chit-chat with other members at church and return home. Maybe we truly worshipped from the soul. Maybe our spirits were stirred by the sermon.
But how often have we left church having shared our hearts?
How often do we allow ourselves to be vulnerable?
I’m not necessarily advocating revealing your heart to the weary soul ahead of you in the check-out line; but the ability to be honest and transparent with your brothers and sisters in Christ is not only a gift, but an expectation.
I recall speaking years ago with an exchange student who had come to the U.S. She couldn’t believe people would greet her in the hallway, ask how she was, and keep on going not even waiting for a reply!
When I lived in Germany years later, I was astonished the answer I received when I asked people how they were: “Thank you!” There, that question showed genuine interest and concern for others.
As Christians we are called to sincerely love. We are called to be able to share of ourselves, and our souls.
Let’s be sincere in our greeting of each other, and in how we answer one another.
Monday: Read Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.
Read 1Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Is it a smart idea to go swimming alone?
How about swimming in shark invested waters?
When we believe “I can do this alone,” we are as safe spiritually as if we blindly dove into the ocean and started swimming straight out, alone.
Do I believe the lie, ‘I should handle life on my own.’ Do my actions follow my stance? (If you see a personal discrepancy, you are not alone! Let’s pray for all Christians to look for a confidante.)
Tuesday: Read Ecclesiastes 4: 10. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Read Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Christ promises to supply all our needs. Sometimes, that supply is something tangible like a blanket to cover a cold baby, sometimes it’s something spiritual, like a burning fervor for truth, and sometimes it’s emotional, like a warm human heart to hold you through life’s storms.
Am I fiercely independent, ignoring how God wants to supply my needs?
Wednesday: Read Ecclesiastes 4:11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
The practical implications of this verse are straight forward. (Especially to those of us in a record-setting winter right now!)
What are the spiritual implications of resting on a luke-warm or even cold faith? How have others warmed you spiritually?
Thursday: Read Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
We are blessed to have the companionship of other believers. But that third strand, a personal faith in God held by both people, is what further strengthens us as individuals. Without that third strand, our cord will eventually fray. Do I have Christian confidants sharing my faith and, my life? How can I find one if I don’t?
Friday: Once there was a little boy who was afraid of the dark. His parents repeatedly told him he was safe in his room. His parents were in the house, all the doors were locked, and even Jesus was right at the boy’s bedside. The little boy agreed all that was great but, as he told his parents, “I need someone with skin on!” He needed human comfort.
Read Matthew 26:36-38 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Even Jesus, the Son of God, needed someone with skin on. Do I really think I’m any different?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your constant provision in my life. Thank you for the friends who keep me accountable, who provide that human touch. Please help me to be the friend, and the person You are calling me to be. Amen.
Thank you for reading! Please return by Monday, March (Spring is coming!) 3 for the next post.