Read:  Ecclesiastes 4:4-12

Reflect: Do you remember when COVID first broke out?  The panic. People masked up to the hilt in stores. The cancellation of public events.  I felt like a prisoner confined to a solitary cell and lost my sense of purpose (no, playing games on my Kindle didn’t count). The monotony of being surrounded by the same smells, the same light, and the same four walls. Those first holidays when I couldn’t see family, were dismal and depressing.  It was immeasurably sad.

As humans, God has made us as social beings, created for relationships, for community.  COVID definitely demonstrated that maintaining connections with others can make or break a person. Connections can even make or break a bridge.  The roadway of the Golden Gate Bridge is suspended from cables hanging from towers. The cables are comprised of 27,572 steel wires which were wrapped together tightly. The tighter they are wrapped, the greater the combined strength. Without the firmly wrapped wires, there would be no bridge because the 840 million pounds would go crashing into the San Francisco Bay. If one of the wires could talk, it would never say, “I don’t need the other wires, I can carry 840 million pounds myself.”  Wouldn’t that be ridiculous?

Over the years I’ve heard believers say, “I don’t need the church. I don’t need any interaction or fellowship with other Christians. After all, I can pray and worship God on my own and grow spiritually without the help of others.”  That individual is choosing to live dangerously, like the lone sheep that wanders off on his own, thinking he is safe from the wolves.  The sheep’s ending is when he becomes dinner for the enemy.  Without deep, healthy relationships immersed in Truth with other believers, we are easy pickings for the evil one and our spiritual lives develop into solitary prison cells.

That is why Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 impacts us as a body of believers. 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. The Apostle Paul wrote wisely: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Apply: Have you made a point to become like one of the wires holding up the Golden Gate Bridge; so tightly knit in healthy relationships with other believers that together you can bear impossible weight at a time when the winds of evil are powerfully blowing?  Don’t go it alone. God’s pathway of strength for believers is the local church. We are made to live in community.

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