Community, Humility, and the Strength of a Three-Fold Cord

My husband and I have a project on our hands – literally – it requires two shovels, a wagon, and a rake moving 14 ton of rock from point A to B.

Do you know how awkward it is to move rock with a shovel, a rake, and a wagon?

Having moved about a quarter of it, I can tell you – It’s hard work.

I don’t “do” manual labor. I’m not above it and am certainly not afraid to get dirty, or work with my hands but it is NOT my day-to-day. My husband, his day -to-day isn’t manual labor either – however, he’s got experience with it. He’s physically strong, and he’s been there done this sort of thing before. My husband is older than me. He’s got more life experience, and sometimes – that truth annoys me. Sometimes, I just want to show him – I can do something my own way, and things will be just fine.

Working to move this rock, I’ve been working it my way.

One day specifically, I noticed him relaxed, elbow propped on his shovel watching. A little perturbed by his lack of movement, I considered for a moment, to nonchalantly bump that shovel, knock him from his comfort and prompt him back to work. Catching myself in this passive aggressive thought, I realized it was not one of a true helpmeet so I turned my thoughts back to that pile of rock, and just as I did – his silence broke, and he offered up a suggestion. As he stood there, he had been studying my technique, and let me know that if I would simply scoop across the top of the rock rather than jabbing my shovel in the middle attempting to hoist a massive shovel load, it would require less effort, and I wouldn’t tire so easily.

What I should have done in that moment was smiled and said, “Thank you,” but I was hot. I think 90 degrees in Midwest humidity must be hotter than the Sahara. I wasn’t happy or grateful with his guidance, I was annoyed. I did however, quench my disrespect and without acknowledgment changed my technique and as I did… I found…Hewas right.

His method was better than the one I had come up with on my own. It’s easier, more efficient, and much less laborious…Confession, I’m thankful I accepted his council, my muscles are less achy and even though this is still effort intensive, it’s smoother and just as he said, I’m not tiring near as easily.

Thinking on this, I look at my driveway, and I see two things:

1) There’s still a lot of rock to move

2) A beautiful illustration for those tough pieces of life. We all experience them, things like addiction, depression, divorce, poor health, job loss, tough relationships… These things are heavy, labor intensive boulders standing in our path requiring us to roll up our sleeves and physically move them out of our way.

My husband’s guidance in this instance – It serves as reinforcement to something so many of us know, but something so hard for us to accept. We are called to live in community, fellowship with other believers, serving each other, working together, helping one another, learning from each other. We NEED each other.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 KJV says “And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Taking advice from another – is a hard thing. It requires humility. Humility – that too, is a hard thing. A hard thing that we are called to robe ourselves in Every. Single. Day.

1Peter 5:5 KJV “…Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

There is strength in community and just as it is written, “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” We can try all we want to make our own path, go our own way and walk through life alone, but doing so is foolish, and just as we read it isn’t part of God’s plan.

We all have a testimony, a work the Lord has done in our life, and that work is multifaceted, yes, it is to help the individual, but more so it is to bring glory to the Lord so that others will be drawn to him. In the making of our testimony His strength is made known to those that see it and hear of it.  To live wisely is to listen and learn from the work that God has done in the lives of those around us. When we do this, we are living as a three-fold cord, we bind together so in that moment when that heavy piece of life comes out of nowhere attempting to rip us from the hands of grace, we lean on each other holding tightly as ONE to the body of Christ.

Accepting this to be true – it’s important that we do not shut ourselves off and take on a prideful attitude desiring to go it alone. I heard it said once that, “Our story is the key that unlocks the prison cell that someone else sits in.” We’ve all been through things and put forth efforts that work, and those that don’t. In doing so, we learned something from it.

I was prideful moving that rock. I thought I knew what I was doing, but I didn’t. My husband recognized my flawed technique and offered guidance based on what he has experienced. Let’s be honest, it’s aggravating when you’ve set your course, determined to do something your way, and someone chimes in to tell you your method isn’t going to work. It’s hard to accept correction– but what if that person offering guidance sees you unknowingly walking into a prison cell and they’re throwing you a key to your freedom, a key that leads you back to the path of Grace.

I wonder if you’ve found yourself attempting to go it alone?

Maybe your sitting in a heavy place of life, and you find yourself tempted to move from this spot and go your own way. If that’s where you are I encourage you to press against the grain of temptation which tells you to do your own thing. Instead, reach for those that have been where you are and allowed the strength of our Heavenly Father to move the rocks standing in the way.

“A three-fold cord is not quickly broken,” and allowing the testimonies of others to shine brightly in our own life is a decision you have to make. Decide today – Choose Him.

If you feel alone, and you don’t know where to start, maybe you need help finding the words to pray, if that’s where you are, let me help you, let’s pray this prayer together:

Lord, you are the Lord of Lords. You are holy, and magnificent. Your word tells me you are omniscient. That truth is astounding! It is amazing that you know all about me, you know my secret thoughts, you know my attitudes, and still, you love me. Please forgive me for my prideful attitude, trying to make my own path, and not wanting the help of those around me. Your word shows me that you are my help, I need your help today. I understand that I need to submit these feelings and thoughts to you. I acknowledge my pride, and desire to choose my own way, and I bring these things under your authority, and repent of them. You have created me to be humble and to live in community so please help me to stop rejecting that truth and to accept godly guidance from those who have been where I am, the people that you have purposely placed in my life for me to lean on in this moment. The strength of a three-fold cord is not quickly broken. I receive this word today and I move to live it.  In Jesus name I pray. Amen

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