Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
In recent days, I have witnessed beauty in some ashes. In one case, the marriage of a friend of mine has been put to the test due to an unplanned extended absence due to some legal issues. The husband is stuck in Ohio for three months, while his wife is holding down the home front in California. If this wasn’t challenging enough, there have been those close to them who have offered “advice” along the lines of giving up on their marriage.
In another example, the mother of a friend of mine passed away just a couple days ago. It automatically took me back to when I lost my mom. It is a painful experience to lose the woman who brought you into the world. I believe there is truth to the theory that it is especially difficult for men when they lose their moms. It sure was for me. And right now, my friend is right in the midst of these very difficult days.
In the case of my first example, this couple has had to constantly reinforce one another with love. I’m sure they’ve had numerous conversations by phone, but I’ve also seen the outpouring between them via Facebook. At times, they shared their individual frustrations. Other times, their doubt that attempts to get together for Thanksgiving would bear fruit. But through it all, they stuck together. And now, they are on the eve of being together for the upcoming holiday.
In the second example, I have seen, also via Facebook, the loving support of my friend’s wife. She, too, lost her mother in recent years. I’m sure that through her experience, she is providing a support to her husband that he so desperately needs right now. When I lost my mom, I wasn’t in a relationship. At the end of each day of working through the details of her funeral and plans with family, I returned to an empty apartment. No one to talk to. No one’s shoulder to lean…and cry on.
It is in life’s difficulties when we discover a special purpose in our relationships. Sharing good times, vacations, day trips, parties and date nights are all wonderful. But it’s in the tragedies, the hardships in life in which relationships are forged. It’s in these times when we see what we’re made of. Anybody can enjoy good times. But it takes determination, fortitude, perseverance to stick together during the troubled times.
So many relationships fall apart during difficult times. We are human. We can only take so much at times. But as a man of faith, I find comfort in knowing that the load I might have carried on my own is made lighter with the support of someone who loves me. But even more so, keeping God in our midst, the third cord, is what holds us together and gives us strength.
We must be able to trust one another. We must put our needs aside when those we love need us most. But most importantly, we must fortify ourselves with God’s love, power and wisdom. When one is weak, it’s up to the other to keep things moving in the right direction. In doing so, we build trust. We build credibility. We create an environment of loyalty that can only be created in times of distress.
When the dust settles, and the one who was weak can look into the eyes of the one who was strong, they will know that love does, in fact, endure all things. There is no shame in being vulnerable. There is no shame in feeling pain. But we cannot stay there. And those who love us will not let us.
God simply didn’t intend for us to go through this life without someone who loves us and believes in us. Especially when we lack in love and belief in ourselves.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
~1 Corinthians 13:1-3