This has been a relationally rich summer. Greg and I have had the joy to host clients, family, and friends in our home every other week since the first of June! What a privilege to share our lives and to engage in “shoulder to shoulder” activities with them all. These sweet times truly enrich our lives and I believe, theirs as well!!
Recently, one of our visitors swam farther than they were equipped to swim. We were at a mountain lake and he challenged himself to swim across the lake to an area where he could rest upon a floating dock. However, the ladder to the dock had fallen deep to the bottom of the lake. uh oh! After trying unsuccessfully to climb up on the floating dock he decided to swim back to shore. Halfway back his legs cramped and shut down having been affected by the cold water and fatigue! At first he said, “I need help” which quickly turned to a cry! “HELP!”…..”HELP!”……”HELP!”
It was surreal to see our friend truly struggling to survive. His plea for help became more and more emphatic….he was sinking and he knew it. My husband heard the cries of his friend and he knew he needed to make every effort to help his friend survive!! Before he sank under the water, Greg jumped in, swam to his friend, held him above the water leading him to safety. After resting along the shore, our friend regained his strength and went on to have a wonderful day. Nevertheless, witnessing this experience shook us all up and left me with a clearer understanding about some real live truths. Our friend did nothing wrong, yet LIFE happened uexpectantly and he was wise enough to have not been alone!
We were never meant to “do life” alone. We weren’t created to depend only on ourselves. We have been designed to walk through this life in community and with accountability. The scenario at the lake would have ended differently if our friend had been there alone! Fortunately, he had not made that unwise choice. We all need to have people around us that want us to survive and thrive! People who will jump in and carry us if needed when we cry out for help!
When we withdraw and silo ourselves from the support and safety of wise counselors we can tend to gravitate toward treacherous waters….to stinking thinking, compromised choices, and unhealthy commitments. To be protected from these things we need quality people in our lives who can recognize the “danger” and help us to stay on the safe shore.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 says “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
Proverbs 15:22 says “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”
Proverbs 27:6 says The wounds of a friend are trustworthy, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
Think about your life today. Do you have people around you who want to see you stay above water? Do you have those who are willing to help when you feel like you are drowning in the challenges of life? If you do then you are richly blessed. If you do not I sincerely encourage you to be committed to creating a circle of connection in the days ahead. Just like our friend on the lake…..if you are alone in a crisis, you need to have support. We were meant to do life together! 🙂