A little support can make a big difference

Published 3:10 pm Friday, March 15, 2019

Several years ago, I purchased a metal car shelter to protect two of our cars from the harsh effects of the South Georgia weather.  Unfortunately, that shelter no longer exists in its original form–part of it is stacked behind one of our sheds until the price of scrap metal increases enough to make it worth hauling it away, and part of it has been recycled to become part of our son in law’s chicken coop.  It served us well until Hurricane Michael dealt it a fatal blow last October.

While the shelter stood it was a structure of integrity that could give our vehicles protection from the heat of summer and cold of winter.  However, I noticed at times that the building would sway back and forth and make an abundance of squeaking sounds during windy weather.  Upon investigation, I found that some of the screws holding it together had become loose, allowing the movement to take place. 

The solution was easy and simple enough—I just needed to re-tighten the screws.  Once those little screws were tight, the dependability of the whole building was much improved. 

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The screws were not attractive or large, yet they served an essential purpose in keeping the shelter standing firmly.  One screw alone could not handle all the stress generated by the force of the wind, but as a multitude of screws each carried a tiny portion of the force pushing against the shelter, adequate strength was produced to keep the building standing solidly.

As we travel the journey of life, we are in need of support lest we become weak and succumb to the pressures of life.   Psalm 94 provides some reflections of the writer that we need to consider when the pressures of life begin to push us to our limits and hinder our hopes of things getting better.  Consider these words:  “Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.  When I said, “My foot is slipping,” Your love, O Lord, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul” (verses 17-20, New International Version).

As the writer continues to acknowledge the opposing forces that come against the righteous, he writes, “But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in Whom I take refuge” (verse 22). 

We can rest assured that God’s loving presence and power are available to us to provide sustaining support when adverse forces come against us.  Quite often, those onslaughts of adversity do not come as lone and isolated incidences, but, rather, as huge waves roaring relentlessly and constantly against us. 

Nevertheless, God’s grace is always sufficient and His support is always adequate to see us safely through whatever we may face.

Just as God gives us support through His loving presence, we must not neglect to be there for each other to provide support during times of hardship.  In Ephesians 4, as the apostle Paul was stressing the importance of unity among God’s people, he stated that “From Him [Christ] the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each  part does its work” (verse 16).

Without dozens of little screws jointly bearing and overcoming the force generated by the wind, my car shelter could easily collapse, but with them firmly in place, support was created that allowed it to remain intact even on the gustiest days (hurricane force winds are an exception and a whole different category!).  And as we rejoice that God is available to sustain us during the tempests of life, we must not neglect our duty to support our fellowman during their times of adversity. 

When we all do a little, a lot of beneficial support is generated.