Monday, July 30, 2018

Enjoying Togetherness - Martin Wiles

How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! Psalm 133:1
I rediscovered togetherness while hiking in the mountains.
My daughter and I were on a 7.2-mile hike in the mountains outside Clayton, Georgia. As we entered the woods, a sea of ferns covering the mountainside greeted us. I thought, This is going to be an easy and enjoyable hike. But the level path suddenly took a sharp drop. Rocks and roots littered the trail, and rain had made it slippery.
When we got to the bottom, a raging mountain stream—complete with several small waterfalls—welcomed us. We would need the rest. The next mile was a steady uphill climb. The series of up and downhills continued. By the time we were three-fourths of the way through, I was spent. My legs were wobbly, and I wondered whether I was going to make it out. I knew the last mile was uphill. I stopped every twenty yards for a breather and to drink some water.
Fortunately, my daughter kept encouraging me. She patiently waited when I had to stop, and she retrieved my water when I needed it. With her gentle encouragement, we finally walked out of the woods and took a picture of us standing by the entrance sign.
I agree with the psalmist. Life is better when people get along. To be sure, disagreements will occur—they’re inevitable. But when they do, we can disagree without having a sour attitude.
Friendships are important, but they don’t just happen. We have to intentionally establish them and then nurture them after we do. Good friends will stick with us through the good and bad times. They will encourage us to take the next step when we feel as if we can’t.
Enjoying our family is also essential. While we can choose our friends, we cannot choose our family. They come with the territory. Family is like blood: thicker than water. Enjoying our family makes life more pleasant. Families should be there for each other.
But family and friendship can’t take the place of time with God. Through Bible study, prayer, and time spent with other believers, we experience the benefits of togetherness with God. And God is there for us when everyone else walks away. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Don’t neglect the benefits of togetherness. Life is too short to live it alone.

Prayer: Father, prompt us to make time for others—and especially You. 

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