“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
How can I be in two places at once?
Recently, I found myself at a ball complex where both of my children were playing games at the same time. They played on fields that were not side-by-side but diagonally across the park from one another. As a mom, I could not justify sitting and watching one child play while missing the other. So, I stood in the middle.
There in the middle, I could see both fields from a distance. I began alone, but very soon several friends whose children were not playing that night came and stood with me.
When I was turned watching one child, a friend would fill me in on what was happening on the other field. When the games were over, I hadn’t seen every individual play of both games, but thanks to my friends, I was able to “see” both games.
As I reflect on that night, I remember how very comforting it was to have friends standing with me in the middle. And I now realize how important it is to have friends stand “in the middle” with us all the time. We need friends to help us “see” the games in life — especially when we aren’t able to focus on them ourselves.
Today’s key verse, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
We must bind ourselves together with other Christians in friendships that love, support and encourage us in our day-to-day struggles. Today, examine your relationships. Who stands in the middle with you? Take time to thank those friends who strengthen you.
Do you stand in the middle with someone? Do you offer words of love and encouragement? Perhaps this is an area you can improve. As you examine, remember that no matter what, we all have the One who stands in the middle with each of us! Jesus is always in the middle of life with us.
We are not alone! So today, take comfort in knowing He’s always with us in the middle of our circumstances, but also look for ways you can stand with others in the middle of their lives. Let’s be the friend others can count on to help them see the game of life.
Dear Lord, thank You for sending me friends to stand in the middle of life with me. I especially thank You for always being with me. Guide and direct me as I strive to be a loving and supportive Christian friend to others. Help me be more like You in my words and actions toward others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)
John 15:12-15, “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” (MSG)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It’s a day when we remember and honor those who have lost their lives while serving in the U.S. Military. Spend some time today considering ways you can be “a friend in the middle” to someone. Ponder ways you can support and encourage them. Then choose one way to reach out to them today.
If someone has been that kind of supportive friend to you, take a moment to say thank you. You can also thank them in our comments section!
© 2019 by Deborah Ard. All rights reserved.