“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)
Many of you have asked “the source” of inspiration for the weekly WordBytes. Interestingly, many come as a result of simply observing life and the things that God calls to my attention. This week I received an unexpected thank you card from a young lady whom I have the privilege of mentoring. The thank you note was “unexpected” in that I consider my time with her more beneficial to me as I observe her daunting resiliency to life’s interruptions. She signed her name to the card with the addition of this week’s scripture, Proverbs 17:17. Voile! This week’s WordBytes—“The Power of Relationship.”
God has built us for relationship. During Creation, the LORD God observed, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” (Gen. 2:18, RSV) Therein enters Eve; man in relationship with woman.
The Garden of Eden was the meeting place for God and His creation, Adam and Eve. There they walked and talked with one another. Imagine the conversations they must have had; man in relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Then sin entered the scene. Their relationship was broken. Adam and his wife were expelled from the Garden. Their relationship became strained.
In relationship we experience true joy that enables us to manage both painful and difficult situations. In relationship, we find not only a “friendly ear” but also the resources we need to pull us out of our “personal ditches.” We find the confidence we need to “trust our heart.” In relationship, we experience the courage to “overcome our fears.” Solomon captures the power of relationship in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
As we prepare for the holidays, let us reflect on the power of relationship. Many of us minimize the importance of relationship in our lives. It is in meaningful relationship that we can experience true joy. Seek out those who need support and encouragement to live in these difficult times. Extend your love and kindness to those who may be laboring under extreme emotional strain. Lend financial support to those who may just need “a break”. Relationships, whether they are family or friends, are the best investment of your time, talent, and resources. If your relationship with a friend or family is broken or strained, let the holidays be your excuse to reconcile. Get back into relationship!
SELAH: Ask Jesus to show you those relationships He wants you to establish (or re-establish) this holiday season.