I don’t know about you, but I’m much weaker than I like to let on but I always want to maintain the illusion that I am strong. Sometimes my own hubris makes me believe that I am basically Superwoman, when in reality I’m just a mere mortal like everyone else. When I watch action movies I think that I can run miles and miles without getting tired or go hand-to-hand with someone in combat and come out victorious. When I prepare to work out I think I can do push-ups with ease, that is, until I end up falling flat on my face.
Life has a way of hitting us square in the face and knocking us off balance. But, within our personal, close-knit communities, we can give each other strength.
Strength to continue hoping in the face of despair.
Strength to follow God even when it’s tempting to turn back.
Strength to pray when you want to do anything else.
Strength to say “no” to sin though it seems more fun at the time.
Last year I met a group of women who do life together well. I was interested in writing for a ministry called We are Unveiled and, without knowing any of them, I nervously attended their staff retreat. Much to my surprise, I was welcomed in (talk about being includers!) without any hesitation. Since then we’ve handled all kinds of situations together. We’ve dealt with conflict and lovingly calling one another out, creating safe spaces for those who need it, and being open and honest with each other. But more than anything else, I’ve been amazed at the strength shared amongst the team. Whenever one of us has a prayer request, the others will immediately begin praying and, if there’s an action to be done, will step up in some way. When things seem dark, we offer an encouraging word or resource; when it’s easy to fall back into old patterns, we are there to offer accountability.
This group of women has such an unbelievable strength because they have each other. We know we are stronger together than we are when we’re isolated and alone.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
How can you strengthen those in your community today? Is there anyone in your sphere of influence who could use some of your strength, faith, or encouragement today?
Download Community: You’re Welcome at the Table, a free PDF, at sarahjcallen.com/community