Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lashed Together

Off the coast of Alaska, tides can be hazardous. They can vary up to twenty-five feet and turn very quickly. A boat was trolling close to shore when the tide turned and was ebbing so fast that the fisherman could not pick up speed fast enough to get away from the shoreline before his boat became stranded. The troller was rocking back and forth on its keel and would soon break apart, destroying his livelihood and endangering his life.

A fellow fisherman farther out to sea saw his plight. Without hesitation, he steered his boat alongside the mired boat and threw lines to the other vessel, lashing them together to form a catamaran, a boat with two parallel hulls connected together--one of the most stable structures afloat. This way, both boats could ride out the low tide together without a threat to either. When high tide returned, they were both able to back off to safer, deeper waters and go their own ways.

Wise King Solomon, the observant writer of Ecclesiastes, pointed out that "two people are better than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble" (4:9-10, NLT). I have found that to be true. I feel safest when walking arm in arm with my husband.

One time while walking by myself across a parking lot, I didn't notice the slight dip until my rubber-soled shoes stuck while my body kept going. I found myself on the ground. Not only had I fallen and broken my wrist, but I couldn't get up, and no one was around to help me up. Fortunately, I had my cell phone in my purse, so I was able to call for help. If my husband had been walking with me, though, I might have stumbled, but I wouldn't have fallen.

Of course, as Paul pointed out in 2 Cor. 6:14-16, we must not enter into partnerships or marriage with unbelievers because two cannot walk together unless they are agreed on the direction to go, but we do need to be willing to "lash ourselves" to others who are in distress and ride out the storm with them to strengthen them in their times of need, and be willing to seek help when we need it.

Jesus is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother. Have you "lashed together" with Him? He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Who has walked with you in your times of distress? Who needs your helping hand today?

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