Lately I’ve noticed that I’ve been ending a fair number of conversations with fellow Christians with some words to the effect, “So you pray for me, and I’ll pray for you.” As you might guess, these words have come at the end of talks in which we’ve shared our problems with one another. And I’ve been faithful to pray for these folks, just as I’m sure they’ve prayed for me.
All this reminds me of an illustration involving the massive Sequoia (redwood) trees of California’s Sequoia National Park. Even though these trees can reach heights of almost 300 feet, they don’t have tap roots and their root systems are unusually shallow. Rather than penetrating deep down into the ground, their roots spiderweb out in all directions in an effort to capture the greatest amount of surface moisture.
So why don’t these exceedingly tall trees get blown down during a high wind? It’s because they typically grow in clusters and this allows their roots to intertwine. You see, the trees support one another.
As we study the New Testament, it isn’t hard to understand that God wants Christians to support one another as well. One of the most straightforward thoughts on the whole subject can be found in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, where Paul says to the Christians of Thessalonica:
…comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
So today, Christian, if you find yourself troubled or hurting over a situation, don’t hesitate to talk things over with a trusted Christian friend. Allow that fellow Christian to minister to you by listening, encouraging, and even offering counsel. Likewise, if a fellow Christian wants to talk to you about something that is going on in his/her life, give that conversation your full attention and really try to minister to that Christian. Who knows what a profound effect these conversations might have? After all, even the mighty redwood trees thrive from a support system that depends on other trees.