Although it’s Memorial Weekend here in southern California, it feels like winter at Big Bear Lake! Cold winds are blowing and there are white caps on the water. The clouds are so low that they kiss the lake as they blow by. A seagull is blown off course by the winds, but amazingly manages to press on. Our boat dock is bucking and jumping like a wild horse trying to get free of the cowboy’s lasso.

This year our dock is not set up like it normally is. The lake is at its highest level in years, so the clamps where the gangplank is normally attached to dry land are actually under water. Due this situation, large ropes are stretch out between two trees to stabilize the dock. Fortunately the ropes are holding the gangplank—it has managed to jump free of the poles holding it stable at the mid-way point.

As the winds blew this morning, I focused my quiet time devotional in Ecclesiastes. As I slowly read through the chapter, my eye fell on Ecclesiastes 4:8-10 and I stopped there to meditate on Solomon’s words: “Two people are better off 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.” (NLT)

I began to see a parallel between those ropes holding the dock and this truth Solomon was imparting. Without the added support provided by the ropes, the reality is that our gangplank could have broken free from the dock and possibly even torn free from the shore in these winds. As a result of having the added support, our gangplank is still in place.

This is true in life as well. We have been created to thrive in community with others. We are better off with others in our lives who can help us succeed, who can reach out, like those ropes, and help. Alone we face the reality that the winds of life could buffet us so badly that we might be pulled away from what anchors us to God—our faith is what comes to mind in this context.

I hope you have others in your life about whom you can say, “he helps me succeed,” or “she reaches out and helps.”

How have others helped you or reached out to you?

Can you see God’s hand in the connection with others which allowed you to not “fall alone”?

If you are feeling alone, how can we pray for you to support you in your stormy times?