November 4, 2013

Two Are Better Than One...

Ecclesiastes 4:6-12 (ESV) reads:
"Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.  Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, 'For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?'  This also is vanity and an unhappy business.  Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?  And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him - a threefold cord is not quickly broken."



I like to read whole passages of Scripture...one phrase or sentence is never enough.  Why?  Because the Bible is meant to be digested in complete "meals" rather than separate "morsels."  As much as we may want A WORD (read: one) for the day, the Holy Scriptures should not be served in bite-sized portions like the free samples we're handed in the grocery.  We have to be able to get enough of God's Word at once that we can see statements IN CONTEXT - noting the surrounding details and original intent within the bigger conversation.  Seeing the forest AND the trees, as it were.

Now, we all know that "two are better than one."  We honestly don't need the Bible to tell us this.  How many of you would want one cookie when you could have two?  Who would want to do homework on her own when she could have a "study buddy"?  What person in his right mind would like to hang siding on his house all by himself?

I mention siding, because this is the project my husband and I have undertaken recently.  As I type that word - "recently" - I chuckle...maybe even snort a little.  The fact of the matter is, the hubs and I have been doing home improvements for over a year now.  And it's not been any less stressful in recent weeks as in the days when we first began.

Doing your own construction work is tough.  My husband is a hard worker.  And he knows a LOT about doing all we've had to do on the house.  But I don't.  I mean, I can handle power tools.  I can climb a ladder/scaffolding.  I can do stuff.  But I don't always have the foresight for the project that Michael does.

Note: we have been married for two-and-a-half years.  Most consider us still to be newlyweds...though I feel we know each other quite well at this point.  But I bring up the shortness of our union for a reason.  We aren't yet good anticipators. 

It is a struggle for me to think ahead in the construction process.  I need to be able to visually understand what my husband knows conceptually.  Michael's mind is often two steps ahead of mine, and he sometimes struggles to speak into my lagging thought process.  Suffice it to say...thanks to this remodel, we've learned a lot more about each other.

On those hard-to-communicate days, we've learned that "better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind."  In seeing what we can accomplish together, we've learned that "two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil."  After a long, tiring day of work, we've learned that "if two lie together, they keep warm."  Hallelujah!  And above all, we've learned that when we are submitting to one another (Ephesians 5:21) AND submitting ourselves to God (James 4:7), "a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

I mentioned above that God's Word is meant to be digested in complete meals.  Why do we need meals?  To fuel us for daily life.  My encouragement is this: fuel yourself with the Word.  Then, use that fuel to live each moment thereafter putting the Word to practice.  Life should imitate Scripture.  And when it does, take note of it.  Rejoice in its Truth.

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