At school a few years ago there was a summer school course in "Group and Interpersonal Relations." About a dozen people took the class and at the end of it they decided they wanted to do something together as kind of a closing to the class. You know, they had come to know each other, share with each other, and really be personal to each other, and break down walls and so forth - so they decided to get together and take a hike up to Hennigar Hill.
Now, Hennigar Hill is about three miles up the side of the mountain behind the campus and it takes about an hour and a half for anyone to make the hike.
So they set the day and made the sandwiches, made the chocolate, brought the cold drinks, and the back packs, and they got all gathered up for the safari . . . and they started up the mountain - together.
But is wasn't before long until the strong, stalwart ones were up in front and the other ones were back in the middle and way back at the end of the line was a girl named Jane - who was, you might say, out of shape.
At the front was Don - a big, strong, former paratrooper. He and some others - the strong ones- were up in the front and the weak ones were back in the back, and way in the back was Jane. And Don said - it was he who told me this story - he looked back a couple of switchbacks and saw Jane and the Lord told him that he had just better go back and walk with her. That's kind of hard on him because he has a need to be first.
But he went down and started walking with Jane and the people in the level above called down, "Come on up. It's great up here." And Jane yelled, "I don't think I can make it."
And they hollered, "Yeah, you can. Try harder, come on up." And every time they called to her down went her own sense of worth, down went her own sense of value - "I can't make it." "Oh, yeah you can. Come on."
So the strong went on ahead and the weak hung behind, and here was Jane, and she never made it to the top.
Now, look what you have. You have a group - we know each other, we like each other, we want to do this together, let's go to Hennigar Hill together. But before long, you have divided the strong and the weak, the haves and the have-nots, and the ables and the unables. So what started out as a group has now become a fragmented collection.
And so the strong say, "You can do it." And the weak say, "No, I can't." And the strong say, "Try harder" - which is a big help. That's a big help. But Jane didn't make it.
Thankfully, that's not the last chapter. They must have learned their lessons because they decided that was no way to end the fellowship of that class. They got together and decided to do it again.
But they made some new rules - it was everybody go or nobody go, and they were all going- together.
So they set the day, and made the sandwiches, made the chocolate, brought the cold drinks, and the backpacks and they got all gathered up for the safari.
It took them four hours to make it to the top, and the water was all gone, the cold drinks were all gone, the sandwiches were all gone, the chocolate was all gone, and the backpacks were empty, but they all made it, together.
You know something - we're all just people who need each other. We're all learning and we've all got a long journey ahead of us. We've got to go together, and if it takes us until Jesus comes, we better stay together and we better help each other.
And I dare say, that by the time we get there, all the sandwiches will be gone, all the chocolate will be gone, all the water will be gone, and all the backpacks will be empty. But no matter how long it takes us we've got to go together. Because that's how it is in the body of Christ.
It's all of us in love, in care, in support, in mutuality - we really do need each other. Let's go to Hennigar Hill together!
Who do you know that needs some extra support and encouragement right now? Contact this person this week. Pray to see how you can better come alongside them to spur them on.
What prevents you from reaching out to those who need a lift?
How has others encouragement helped you in a time of need?
What does this statement mean to you: "We were not created to be an island."
Heart Transforming Word:
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV 1984) "Two are better than one, if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"
Acts 15:32 "Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers."
Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
1 Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
1 Peter 1:22 "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart."
Copyright 2011 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.