The Best Stategy (Two are better than one!)

Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

When I gave my life to Jesus a little over 15 years ago, I was initially convinced that my best strategy was to have it be just me and God; I’d been hurt deeply by people in the church, and was sure it would happen all over again if I opened myself up in a local fellowship. Thankfully God knew better; looking back now I realize I wouldn’t have lasted long, living on my own in San Francisco. Some of my non-Christian friends were circling like sharks, just waiting for the moment when I gave up on my emotional crutch and came back to the life I once knew. One rainy night, along in flat, I got on my knees in the kitchen, sobbing uncontrollably as I pleaded with the Lord to find a path that didn’t involve the church, so certain I would only find hurt and rejection there. In one of the few times in my life when I audibly heard the Lord speak to me, he said, “Ryan, I’ve taken you this far - trust me.” “Ok Lord,” I replied through my tears. “Ok - I’ll trust you.”

I’m so glad I did - that act of faith led me to the perfect church, a small group that became my second family, and a place to call home living with three amazing single Christian men. It’s a good thing too, because I don’t think I would have survived the intense trials that were to come, especially from some of my former friends. I learned so much from the believers God put in my life and grew in my faith - all in San Francisco! Who would have thought, right?!?

Our Daily Bread has a great devotional today titled “The Best Strategy.” It uses one of my favorite scriptures from Ecclesiastes 4:12, where the Word tells us that one person alone might be overpowered, but who can defend themselves, followed by this poetic statement: “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” From 2013 - early 2016 I started a support group for people living with chronic pain and “invisible illness” called Life Together, and this was our theme verse. Why? Well, we realized that things like pain, Lyme disease, and depression can easily lead to isolation - and when we’re isolated we become very susceptible to the influence of the enemy. However, when we come together as brothers and sisters in Christ, we’re able to share life together, bear each other’s burdens, and offer encouragement and strength in the midst of some very difficult circumstances.

The author of today’s devotional uses an example of her daughter’s high school basketball team playing defense to illustrate how we become stronger together, then finishes with this statement:

Solomon and basketball coaches agree: having teammates around us is the best strategy for facing the struggles that loom large on the court and in life.

Life is hard enough already; don’t isolate yourself! When God told us in his word to be active in the body of Christ, he gave us the best strategy!