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Devotional

A Cord of Three Strands

by BARBARA KINDSCHI LONELINESS/ISOLATION Balancing ministry, family, & life
A Cord of Three Strands
  • by BARBARA KINDSCHI
  • Comment
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it.”
1 Corinthians 12:27

The events of 2020 have brought so many world-wide changes. For one, our conversations are full of words that were once only sporadically used. Virus, vaccine, and contagious were words from a cloudy doctor visit. But the word isolation didn’t need a pandemic to bring it to my mind. I had images of being the only foreigner walking through a market, of my friends walking single file up a steep winding path to their village, and my new teammate crying because our city had not one traditional thanksgiving food item. I am sure you can make your own additions.  


Isolation is not all bad. I’ve made many new friends wanting to help me as I shopped solo. My friends love their mountain top life. The co-worker eventually started new holiday traditions. But being or feeling far away, one-of-a-kind, or different can easily slip into loneliness, sadness, and selfishness; far from what our Father wants for us.  


Before we plan a move, let’s look at what is recorded for us in scripture. Jesus calls his church ‘the body of Christ.’ The body! We’re each a needed part! Some for hospitality. Some to be strong for the weak. Carry one another’s burdens. Meet together. Encourage one another. In twos or hundreds. No matter the location.  


Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” 


Yes, we are inspired by Moses parting the Red Sea and Joshua calling down the walls of Jericho. But don’t forget Daniel prayed with friends before interpreting the dream. Peter runs to tell the brothers of his miraculous escape from prison. Mary hurries to Elizabeth after her visit from an angel. Moses’ arms are held up during battle by his brother and a friend. Paul’s amazing writings on the doctrines of our faith fill the New Testament, but he also was encouraged by the brothers who traveled far to meet him in Rome. Many of his letters open with never ending thanks for the faith of others.  


Let’s help each other on the lonely days. Isolation or the Body of Christ? 


Closing Prayer
God, thank you for these examples in your Word. People I can read about and relate to. Show me who needs a listening ear or an encouraging word or someone to sit with them. Humble me to let others know when I need the same and accept it when given. Amen.
Resources
Article: Isolation from the Church is Dangerous by Josh Buice Very thought-provoking - not just relating to the building/institution, but the body of Christ in general. For many of us, the church situation might be different than his audience but still the isolation issue has many similarities.
Song: Bind Us Together by Bob Gilman One team I worked on would sing this old song whenever we had a heated discussion or had a difficult decision to make as a group!
Question for Reflection

When you feel lonely or isolated what encourages you?

Comments
Barbara Kindschi
November 24, 2021

I’m not a group person so I wouldn’t find a big gathering uplifting. But if I make it known to co-workers or teammates that a simple one-on-one over dinner or coffee is the best medicine, then they know. They’ve heard. No need to ask if I need it. Just ask what time would be best! Sometimes throwing this out at the beginning of the year can be helpful so I don’t have to cry it out in the heat of the needy moment. But, of course, if there is no team or only two of you, creativity is called for. In these weird times, a friend in another country and I have occasional virtual appointments. Now our lives currently (2020-21) can be overwhelmed with online communication, but it still can be useful.


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