Hebrews 10:24-25 “… and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Humans were made for relationship. From the very beginning God pronounced that it was not good for man to be alone and made provision for deep and lasting relationship. Somehow our culture has developed a pride in our ability to handle things by ourselves. Whether by choice or by circumstance and lifestyle we often try to forge our way through life on a solitary road. This was never meant to be. Most things are much easier to do with companionship.
I am one who has always loved long walks. Besides the physical benefit it has always been refreshing and mind rejuvenating to smell the fresh air, see the beautiful scenery, and clear my brain by listening to the sounds of nature. Since having foot surgery in late August I have struggled with motivation to take long walks. The weather is colder now and my feet don’t always tolerate the unforgiving pavement the way they once did. More and more I was choosing to stay home.
My little German Shepherd bundle of energy has all the get up and go that got up and went for me. When she pleads with her sad brown eyes and starts pouncing all over the kitchen I realize that I better take her for a walk. I put on a heavy coat, hat, gloves and scarf and off we go!
I have so enjoyed her crazy antics -the pure joy of sniffing every blade of grass, wrestling every broken cornstalk, and love of life that I find myself smiling the whole walk and hardly thinking about my complaining feet. Her presence helps me do what is beneficial for us both. How much more can we encourage and stimulate each other as fellow humans to do what we know is best. God tells us we must continue to meet together on a regular basis for these purposes.
Life was hard for the Hebrew believers. They had chosen to forsake the traditions of their Jewish upbringing to follow Jesus and this was not met well by others in the community. Persecution was discouraging and bringing many down. Some may have become so distressed over the difficult circumstances that they chose to stay home instead of joining the regular fellowship of other Christ followers. Others were choosing to protect themselves from ridicule or oppression by isolating themselves. The writer to the Hebrews exhorted them not to forsake this life-giving activity. They needed each other very much and would even more as the day of the Lord approached.
Many Christians today also fall into this destructive pattern. When trials weigh us down we often retreat from the very brothers and sisters in Christ who desire to help us through a tough time. Our sadness, pain, or embarrassment trick us into thinking we need to be alone with our grief. But God calls us to seek out His gracious provision of fellow believers on a regular basis and especially in these difficult times. The encouraging love and good deeds of the family of Christ can help us face the road ahead even when our feet hurt.
Life wasn’t meant to do alone. We all need each other, so does anyone want to take a walk? Apache and I are ready to go!