Misery...Needs Company

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one...If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

As each of my four girls transitioned from crawler to walker, I noticed a pattern emerge. Each one of them was perfectly content to toddle along holding my hand or finger but if I tried to pull my hand away, a look of sheer terror would pass my child's face. The idea of contentedly strolling along with mom in tow was delightful; the thought of stumbling out on their own was horrifying.

Today I am reading the final chapter in Peter's first epistle. Peter gives some advice to the leadership of the church and then turns his attention to Christians in general. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." (Verses 8-9)

Just weeks before my husband, Scott, was diagnosed with cancer, he woke up one morning in a cold sweat. Scott either doesn't dream or at least doesn't remember having them as a general rule but this morning he had awoken from a dream so vivid, it was difficult to distinguish it from real life. He had visioned Satan prowling around our home going from room to room seeking someone to devour. We will never know if this was a warning from God of the trial to come but the result was certain - Scott's spiritual radar stood at attention.

Over the next few weeks we both prepared for a spiritual battle not knowing what form that battle would take. When Scott was diagnosed with cancer we were able to stand side by side as an impenetrable force. We stood firm in our faith in part because we had each other to lean on.

While I am so thankful that each of my children eventually ventured out and took those first hesitant steps on their own, there is a lesson in their holding on. Perhaps they initially held on out of fear but today they hold my hand electively because they know it is just easier to walk through life when you're holding someone's hand. We walk together through life like an extended version of the childhood game, "Red Rover". As we do, Satan finds it much more difficult to break God's saints because we grip each other.

Jesus, thank you for sweet saints You give me to walk through life with. Today I will look for one person who has no one with whom to hold hands. I will just slip my hand in hers with a smile, a kind word or an encouraging hug. Then I will just stand hand in hand with her so that when her trial comes she may bend but she will not break. Two are better than one.

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