Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT
I remember the moment as if it happened yesterday. It was the morning of December 14, 2012. It was the day my husband unexpectedly lost his job, a job he'd held for more than 27 years and our world was shaken once again.
The preceeding five years had been very difficult. I'd suffered two life-threatening illnesses, one of which left me unable to continue to work. For five years our lives had revolved around doctor appointments, tests, treatments, surgeries, hospitals, endless forms, legal action and of course once again even more forms and evaluations. Though we'd had yet another recent setback, my husband and I were beginning to feel like perhaps there was a light at the end of the tunnel and we could breathe once again...maybe.
I'd spent the morning wrapping jars of cookie mixes I had made to give as Christmas gifts. It wasn't much but I also knew the recipients would understand. They knew these simple gifts were gifts of the heart.
I was reflecting on God's loving care when I made the phone call that would turn a beautiful day into a nightmare.
After finding out where my husband was, I grabbed my jacket and purse before racing out the door. He had not asked me to come and indeed I had not even told him I was coming. I was afraid he would have told me to stay put and I just could not do that! The only thing I knew was that my husband had been broken and he needed me by his side.
He saw me when I entered the room. He took a step toward me and let out an anguished cry. It ripped my heart for his cry was not about what was going to happen to him, it was what was going to happen to me!
As he emitted the cry, he took a step toward me and started to collapse but before he could hit the ground, I reached his side and broke his fall. I stood there unsteadily for a few moments with my knees buckled before regaining my balance. Then slowly, with all of his weight upon me, I stood erect once again. I do not know how long we stood there, one of us leaning while the other one supported them.
That's the way it is supposed to be, you know. God created us to be in relationship not only with himself but with one another. There are many benefits to this but one benefit is so that when we "fall" we are not alone. There is someone who is with us, willing to lift us up, lend us a hand, let us know we are loved, keep us company and pray for us.
I may have supported my husband on that day but in the days that followed, he returned the favor. There were times when I was the one who felt like I was falling to the floor in despair. I was the one who needed help. I was the one who couldn't even think let alone pray. I was the one who needed to be held up by someone else.
That's the way it is supposed to be, you know. None of us are immune to times of great struggle and grief. None of us are invincible. Sometimes it is me and sometimes it is you but at one time or another, we all need to be lifted up and carried by those who care about us.
Scripture quotation taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.