"I don't know who I can trust."
"It's safer to just keep my problems to myself."
All are comments made by wounded souls who have been hurt even further by the words and attitudes of others. But keeping our problems to ourselves is not the answer. Our great God created us as relational beings. We were never meant to go it alone in this world. We must recognize that just as our pain comes through relationships, our healing comes through relationships.
On the west coast of the U.S. are found the tallest living tree species on earth. Coastal redwoods have been known to grow taller than 300 feet in height and up to 20 feet in diameter.
But what’s most amazing about coastal redwoods is how long they live, There are redwoods in California that are more than 2,000 years old. Think about that—some of these giant trees were saplings when Jesus walked the earth.
What makes the giant redwoods' longevity so incredible is that many of these trees have survived drought, forest fires, and the fiercest of storms--even though their roots grow only 4-6 feet into the ground.
So why are these giant trees so resilient? How do they continue to stand strong no matter what nature brings their way? Their durability is attributed to their root system. Although they don't grow very deep, the roots of individual redwoods grow intertwined with the roots of their neighbors. These trees have a simple, yet strong support system. They are "holding hands" with each other underground.
God designed an in-ground, nurturing network for these trees that allows them to withstand the severest of storms and continue to grow heavenward.
God has created a similar network for us—its called the church. The church is meant to be a nurturing support system where Christians are grounded together; where believers help each other to withstand the storms of life and stand in the power of Christ.
Throughout the Bible, when referring to His church, God uses the phrase “one another.” In His Word, our Heavenly Father tells us that we are to love one another, encourage one another, comfort one another, forgive one another, rejoice with one another, and mourn with one another. The Christian community is designed by God to be a support group of sorts where believers rely on one another to get through life's disturbances.
The word support means, to hold up, to keep from losing courage. When we're battered and bruised and finding it difficult to stand, our Father in Heaven lends His loving support, not only through His Word and through our prayers, but through people whom He has strategically placed all around us. Find those people in your life through whom God will work to help hold you up and give you the courage you need to go on. Reach out to them. Draw strength from them so you can stand strong once again. If you've relied on someone in the past only to have your trust broken, you need to look elsewhere for support. Help is always available. Our Heavenly Father will never leave us to deal with our pain all alone.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10, NLT)