August 1, 2007

 

A Strong Enough Rope

By Amy Carroll

 

“If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! … Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:10- 11 (NIV)

         

Devotion:

I really hit the end of myself after 2 ½ miles. My breathing wasn’t the problem this time, but I my legs felt like lead. I gasped to my friend, “Rhonda, I’ve got to stop and walk.” She reminded me to stop thinking about this difficult run. I needed to focus on finishing for my friend who had died from cancer and for my friend who had lived. Rhonda urged me to praise God for the use of my legs and the strength of my body. I turned my thoughts to Jesus and kept running.

 

Even when I’m just walking through my daily routine, my focus often wanders. I can start off a morning with glorious prayer and Bible study only to become clouded over by noon with the demands of life. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 to “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) During my race I pondered the intentional act of turning my full attention on God. Sometimes it takes a faithful friend to remind me.

 

About a fourth of a mile later, I turned to Rhonda and pleaded, “I’ve got to stop and walk….REALLY this time!” She reminded me that Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy. This time he was after my dream of being able to complete a 5K run. Are you in the midst of a spiritual battle? Is Satan attacking your family, your job, your body or your mind? Grab a godly friend and pray! So many times I become unaware of my enemy as I become consumed by my circumstances. A good friend protects my back with hers as we face outward and swing our swords with the power of God’s Word and His presence. We do have an enemy, but our God is stronger. My friend Rhonda reminded me of this fact as we ran onward.

 

Homeowners in the neighborhood had turned on their hoses or were wielding super soakers to refresh the runners as we passed. Rhonda encouraged me to run through the streams. Toward the end when I began to despair of finishing, Rhonda looked up. “Did you feel that sudden breeze?” she asked. “God knew that you needed a cool breeze to be able to finish, and He sent it!” she rejoiced. I hadn’t even noticed. I was bogged down in my own misery again, but I took notice of the breeze as she spoke and lifted my dragging feet a little higher. Thank goodness for friends who point out God’s goodness!! Even in the darkest times, God sends His children glimmers of light if we are watching. The problem is the watching. We need friends to remind us of His promises like, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5b).

 

We were close to the finish line, but I just couldn’t go any more. I took two walking steps and Rhonda immediately grabbed my arm. “Don’t stop! We’re almost there! Your husband and kids are waiting for you!” Even now when I had given up on myself, she wouldn’t let me quit. I ran on toward the finish line and threw up my arms to praise Him as I finished. Sobs caught in my throat and erupted when I finally fell into my husband’s arms. A former couch potato had finished the race!! The main lesson I had learned was clear. God created us for fellowship with Him and with others. I absolutely would not have finished the race without the encouragement, refreshment and prodding provided by my friend. It is the intertwining of our lives with God’s and others that gives us a rope strong enough to sustain us through even the hardest times.

 

Dear Lord, Thank You for the godly friends that You have provided in my life. Help me to also reach out to others with encouragement, refreshment and prodding. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

 

Finding a Mentor, Being a Mentor By: Donna Otto

 

Traveling Together: Thoughts on Women, Friendship and the Journey of Faith by Karla Worley

 

Application Steps: 

Reach out to a friend in a practical way today with a phone call, a card or a thoughtful gift.

 

If you do not belong to a church, begin to visit and pray for a place to create friendships.

 

Reflections: 

Have I allowed my friends to know about my struggles so that they can help me?

 

Which of my friends needs godly support in her struggle?

 

Power Verses:

Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (NIV)

 

Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (NIV)

 

 

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org