Two are better than one. If one falls, his friend can help him up. But pity the one who falls and has no one to help him up! A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 and 12
There once were three young trees that grew up together in the forest. Two of the trees grew straight and tall. The other developed a crook in his back. But, all three of them had one goal. To stretch their branches heavenward as best they could until their leafy top touched the sky.
As trees do, they loved when gentle breezes blew. Feeling the wind whisper through their leaves sent shivers up their trunks.
Birdsong frequently set the woods alive with praises and, if they were lucky, one might even perch in their limbs and sing a secret song just for them.
Squirrels gave chase, leaping and frolicking from one tree to the next, causing their branches to jiggle in laughter. And chipmunks would often scurry along their exposed roots tickling them sometimes.
Waking to sunshine on their shoulders, life seemed idyllic to the three young trees.
But, as summers have been known to do, ominous storm clouds sometimes darken the most beautiful morning skies. And this morning was no different. Off to the west, lightening zigzagged across the skies as if in warning of things to come. Thunder rattled them right down to their roots.
The wind began to pick up and sheets of rain poured down with furious force. The trees lurched, leaning this way and that. They watched in horror as others around them came crashing down to the forest floor with a thud, while others snapped in two.
They did their best to weather each blast, but, as the day progressed with no letup in sight, they began to struggle.
Eventually one of them succumbed to the storms overwhelming power. It just didn't have the strength to fight anymore. With one strong gust, its straight, tall form bent nearly to the ground, its leafy head tangled in the scrub brush below. And so, it remains to this day.
The second tree whispered to his crooked friend, "I don't think I can hold on much longer either." To his surprise, his crooked friend said, "Listen, if you just lean on me, we can weather this storm together."
As the next down draft blew in, the straight, tall tree leaned hard into his friends crooked back. And to this day, they have enjoyed sunshine and weathered storms that have blown their way, together. Proving Solomon's words true...two are better than one.
When storms come blowing in out of nowhere and don't look to be letting up anytime soon, remember the tale of the three trees. Don't try to go it alone! Some have done so and have never recovered. Instead, lean hard into the crook of your friends' arm and you will find the strength to weather any storm.
Or better yet, why don't the two of you lean into Jesus' comforting arms together? He is the only one who can calm both our fearful hearts and the gale force winds that sweep into our lives.
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