The weekend is upon us and I have been reflecting: What am I most blessed by this week?
My Mum. My Hubby, Karlie, Donval…?
I began thinking, I can’t choose which one of them I was really blessed by, and then ‘the girls’ came into the picture as well. And I realised that it’s not any particular individual alone, I feel blessed by them all. This week all of them (and others) have poured into me, encouraged me, and laughed with me. I feel blessed that I AM NOT ALONE. I am not alone in this world and I am not alone in this life.
I am very aware that some people are physically alone, or at least they may feel so, and I pray that the presence of God surrounds you, if you are one of those persons, but I have to acknowledge the fact that God has surrounded me with persons who care about me, my well-being, who look after me, my concerns, my whereabouts. I am grateful to have persons who are there to celebrate with me during times of celebration, encourage and lift me up in times of despair, and comfort and support me in times of heart ache and loss.
I am confident in my relationship with Christ and I believe with assurance that with Jesus at our side, we are never alone. However, He does demonstrate to us throughout His Word, the power of human connection as well in our lives. Connection is so important for mankind. It is how God created us to be. It is why God created man AND woman. God created each of us with a desire to be apart of something greater than us, His Kingdom and connection is an integral part of building HIS Kingdom. ‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching’ Hebrews 10:24
I like how Brene Brown puts it, ‘’connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.’’ Jesus wants that for us. This is why his greatest command is to love one another. Through that Love we can see, hear and value persons for who they are. Through Love we can give and receive without judgement, but with compassion. Through love we can build relationships and connections that sustain, strengthen and support each other.
Connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives. All of us have an important part to play in someone’s life. However, we are not always aware of these roles. It takes us acknowledging our purpose in the wider scheme of God’s will so that He can use us to bring joy, love, encouragement to the lives of others. These connections intended by God, are what enable us to do the great things that we may feel unable to do on our own. I could not raise my girls without my mom, my aunties, my best friends, my grandmother. They are important connections in my life, and they all have a part to play in helping me to carry out my role as Mom.
There are times we do feel threatened by certain people God places in our lives, and we do try to isolate ourselves or push them away. But God’s will is for us to honour those connections and grow. I am reminded of Moses and how he felt incapable and ill- equipped to go to Pharaoh when God had sent Him. But God had already worked it out by connecting him to Aaron. Connections take away our excuses and make ways for us to do what God has purposed us to do.
Let’s not forget Paul. In Paul’s writings you can always find him, advising, encouraging, reminding, reassuring or simply just checking in. He was a guy that valued connection and relationship. What I love about Paul’s writings was, he was very personal and transparent about his life to the churches. He was open and eager to share his feelings and his state of mind no matter the situation he found himself in, partly because he wanted to establish that trust, but also because he relied on the strength of the relationship he had with the churches to sustain him in difficult times. He trusted and depended on them to pray for him. Paul knew how important being connected to the body of Christ was in ministry. He understood relationship and brotherhood. He honoured the strength that lies in community.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 the word of God admonishes us to ‘’…encourage one another and build each other up…’’ The truth is, some of us will lose our way, many of us will lose faith and become discouraged but most of us will experience seasons of turmoil, weariness and disappointment; and this is why we need each other.
Ultimately, Jesus himself, is our greatest example. One of the first things he did at the start of his ministry on earth is assemble his ‘tribe’, his family of disciples, and although he had many disciples throughout His time on earth that he sent forth, the ‘twelve’ were his closest friends and he established relationship with them because HE needed connection.
Throughout the bible, we see where Jesus dined and fellow-shipped with his disciples and with people along His earth journey, building friendships, establishing connections. This is what we are called to do, this is how we survive life here on earth, as children of God. Galatians 6, verses 2 and 3 tells us to ‘‘share each other’s troubles and problems, and so obey our Lord’s command. If anyone thinks he is too great to stoop to this, he is fooling himself. He is really a nobody.’’ We cannot succeed at life thinking we can do everything on our own or that we do not need anyone. It is the biggest lie we can feed our hearts. We may need to vet some of the people we include in our circle, but in doing that, we shouldn’t be self-centred in our thinking. We should not choose who we want to be connected to based on how they can help us advance, but sometimes be led to choose people who we feel we can extend ourselves to help. It goes both ways!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 reminds us that ‘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.’ This week I was most blessed by ‘my people’ and you know who you are. Near and far, every day and every couple weeks. It doesn’t matter, how often we get to chat or talk, I Love You! I appreciate you and I am grateful that God has divinely placed you in my circle, in my life.