"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

On our 13th wedding anniversary my girlfriend gave me a Bible.

In the front she wrote me a little note and the note ended with the verses from Ecclesiastes.

The Bible book mark was marked on the page of those verses and my girlfriend had underlined those 4 verses.

The book mark has never moved from that page.

I think a lot about those verses and what they mean to me in my relationship with my girlfriend.

If you aren't familiar with them they say:

"Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer."

Why do I share this bit of our personal history?

I was reminded of these verses last week and how my girlfriend takes care of me.

A situation recently came up within our house church family. A sin that needed to be confronted. If you've ever followed the Biblical instruction to go talk to a brother, face to face, about a sin you know it's not the easiest or funnest thing.

This had to be done a couple of weeks ago. It happened on a Sunday morning and, thank the Lord, three other brothers went with me.

I was so happy that our family in Christ did the right thing. It wasn't just the American missionaries who did this. God's family is growing and maturing here and I'm so proud to be a part of it.

We spent two hours together that morning. On the way home I mentioned to one of our brothers that doing something like that is more physically and mentally draining on me than running a marathon. My brother said, "You mean that wasn't a marathon?" If you've confronted someone about a sin before then you completely understand the feeling.

Anyway, the meeting went as well as could be expected. I was so proud of my Brasilian brothers and the way they did everything in love. It was a tough conversation but it had to be done and my brothers showed the love of Jesus.

I got home and was completely wiped out. My girlfriend asked how it went and I told her I would share more later but right then I just wanted to chill out.

I went back to our bed and just laid down and watched a soccer game that I, honestly, wasn't that interested in. I just needed some time to decompress from the heaviness of the previous 2 hours.

I realized later that my girlfriend didn't come back into our room and that she had kept the kids out as well. That time alone was exactly what I needed to allow God to take the weight off me and clear my mind. I came out an hour or two later and was ready for the rest of the day. I could do that so quickly because of my girlfriend.

It didn't really hit me what she had done until the next day. I thanked her for taking care of me. That's one of the things I love about her, she does things like that and never says anything about it. She took care of me because we are "two" together!

The longer we live here and do what God has asked us to do the more I realize the importance of Jesus sending his disciples out two by two. He knew how discouraging it could be for them to do His work.

He also knew that doing the right things, at times, can be a heavy thing.

We all need encouragers. Someone to take care of us and to spur us on as we follow God's plan for our lives.

My girlfriend is my best friend and encourager. I could not be more blessed to be "two" with her.

My prayer is that you have a partner to share God's work with as well. That you've been blessed with an encourager.

That God has blessed you in being "two" with someone.

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