The Loneliness of Wealth
Open Your Bible
Ecclesiastes 4:1-16, Proverbs 27:17, Luke 12:13-21, Acts 2:42-47, 1 Corinthians 12:18-21
In January of my sophomore year of college, I laced up my hiking boots and packed a backpack (and two huge suitcases) and set off for a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile. My then-boyfriend, whom I had begun dating just a mere three months prior to leaving, wrote me a letter to read while I was gone. There is one passage from the letter that I still think of occasionally. In it was Ecclesiastes 4:12: “A cord of three strands is not easily broken,” and below it, the words “and what a strong cord we will have: you, me, and the Lord of all creation.” And although that relationship didn’t survive the strain of a semester away from each other (long distance is hard when you’re nineteen!), I’ve applied that sentiment to many of my relationships over the years: friendships, romantic relationships, and familial relationships alike.
When I was young, I didn’t know how to braid my hair. I would end up just separating my hair into two sections and twisting them around each other, until one year at church camp when a friend taught me how to correctly braid my hair. The secret? Separating it into three sections, like the author of Ecclesiastes says in chapter 4, the cord of three strands is not easily broken. I’ve found this to be true over and over again throughout my life. My relationships with other people are so much stronger when the relationship is built on a mutual desire to serve and love God first, then each other.
Surrounding yourself with people who love the Lord is so important, especially during formational seasons of life. Lack of community makes it increasingly hard to find purpose. I have found that a life in pursuit of God is so much more meaningful when it is done in community. When surrounded by other believers, seasons of fruitfulness become even more sweet, and seasons of doubt are met with comfort and understanding. The cord of three strands provides a safe place to learn, to question, and to grow. It is important that we not only seek out this kind of community for ourselves, but commit to being this kind of community for those around us. The kingdom of God is a place where all who believe are welcome. May we seek to live this out in our own lives each and every day.