When my closest cousin, Jeanna, was barely a young woman, she lost her fight with cancer. I mourned her death with daily tears longer than I expected to. Then I learned of a way to honor Jeanna and others who were battling a cancer diagnosis.
I signed up for a walk-a-thon to raise funds for cancer research. Most people taking part in this event had joined teams—from churches, families, or workplaces—and they took turns walking laps along the designated path. I had no team, though. I never thought of asking anybody to share in this effort with me. I just knew I wanted to recognize Jeanna’s life and find an outlet for my grief. Doing this alone did not deter me.
But as the walk-a-thon wore on, I traveled lap after lap on my own. I had nobody to cheer for me or hand me water. I had no team member sharing in the goal of walking in memory of Jeanna, and I had nobody to relieve me when I needed to rest. By the end, I felt weary in more ways than one.
That night at the cancer fundraiser, having the support of others with the same purpose would have made such a difference for me. God knows we need each other. He created us for a relationship with Him and for relationships with others. When we trust in Jesus—His work on the cross and His resurrection—we begin a relationship with God. He never intended for us to journey through life alone; He is present with us, and He also gives us each other. He calls us to encourage and seek fellowship with other Christians as we experience all the joys and sorrows of life. And as we grow in loving Christ, we not only learn to build each other up. We also grow to understand how we need support and strength from other Christians, too. • Allison Wilson Lee
• Have you experienced a loss recently? Jesus has so much compassion on you and grieves your hurts alongside you. Who are trusted Christians in your life you could share your grief with, too?
• One way God is present with us is through each other. As His love for us spills over into our love for each other, we find hope, love, comfort, and strength that we never could have found on our own. Do you find it easier to boost others up or to recognize your own need for support? Consider taking some time in prayer, asking God to help you grow in these areas. Additionally, who are trusted Christians you could talk to, such as parents, pastors, youth leaders, or friends?
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)