Listen to this obituary
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (Easy To Read Version)
9 Two people are better than one. When two people work together, they get more work done.
10 If one person falls, the other person can reach out to help. But those who are alone when they fall have no one to help them.
11 If two people sleep together, they will be warm. But a person sleeping alone will not be warm.
12 An enemy might be able to defeat one person, but two people can stand back-to-back to defend each other. And three people are even stronger. They are like a rope that has three parts wrapped together-it is very hard to break.
It is 5,431 miles from Tupelo, MS to Syktyvkar, Russia — a place I have been to several times and twice I went alone! I know what it is like to feel alone in a room full of people when you don’t speak the same language, and you don’t have many other things in common. You feel vulnerable and fragile.
I felt just as alone on October 16, 2006, when my wife died in Little Rock, AR, of Multiple Myeloma cancer. I hasten to add that I was NOT physically alone. I had one of my grown children with me, as well as a dear friend, and other family members had gathered as we turned off the ventilator, and a few minutes later, she breathed her last.
I am writing today to some people who, for the first time in a long time, will have to get through a day like today alone. Perhaps your best friend has moved, you’ve changed jobs, or even worse, someone you loved and depended on has died. How will you survive?
The wise man Solomon, in our text, reminds us how much we need each other!
There are seven days in the week, and you need seven arms of a support system. Connect with one of these support people every day (thus you’ll need seven of them), and then you won’t be wearing any one person out!
Your preacher or church leader or church family might be one arm of your support system. I have a sister and a brother still living. That’s two more. My medical health care provider or counselor might be an arm. That means I need three more friends who are willing to lend an arm of support when I am super stressed and/or depressed. That gives me seven arms of a support system. This is my doable plan, and it just might work for you!
How do you know if someone would be a good arm for your support system? Simply put, you are looking for the people in your life who have proven that they are willing, capable, and open to be involved in your life. And — here’s a big one… in the past, THEY have reached out to YOU for help and support.
Here’s the take-home, my friend.
“WE will get through this!”
You DON’T have to do life alone.