I have heard the term “come along side” one another a lot in church. It’s a great image.
A grieving family held up in prayer and practicals.
A single-mother/father’s children having mentors.
Celebrating and supporting a new marriage.
Camp counselors guiding impressionable children.
Elders who pray for healing, offer wise advice, seek lost sheep in unity with other elders.
Teachers who take extra time to help a child understand an important lesson.
Coming alongside a person developing in the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical arena until they can hold their own is necessary for the health and well-being of the individual and their society.
I asked John yesterday about sistering joists — the supporting beams in a house. It’s the process of running a board or metal plate alongside the weak beam and securing the two pieces together with a bolt.
The beam becomes stronger than when left alone to submit to the stress of the structure above it.
How many times have you witnessed someone fall in love with Jesus and humbly ask Christ to be their master? Christ comes alongside the growing Christian and firms up a flabby faith, gives the person a heart of flesh with a richness of sensitivity towards the things Jesus cares about. Where there are cracks, rotted places and potential splinterings, the joist is sustained for the task simply because it is bolted to the side of a strong support.
When we sister each other, we may be the strong one in one season, and find ourselves supported in a time of trial by the very weak joist we once sistered. Humility deems we admit we aren’t as strong as we’d like to think, but accepts the support of anyone who dares love us with all they have, cracks and all.
My aim today is not to “splinter-hunt,” but to sister a fellow-Christian. Who knows but that I may poke the very eye out of the person God is preparing to look out for my good down the road.
Got compassion, weakness, joy, distress? Sister-up to someone and watch God’s Spirit come more alive than if going it alone!