We Need Each Other by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

The emotion has not hit me yet.

This week, I participated in the final doctoral residency for my Doctor of Ministry program. For the past three years, our doctoral cohort has met in person one week out of the semester, while the rest of our study is online. The residency is filled with dense, but interesting material. Generally, we are required to do a couple of presentations, and are worn out from long days and intense concentration but we are also revived through the rekindling of relationships with the other members of our cohort, as well as with professors. I could not have made it this far without them and we are still in this together because we are all determined to finish our doctoral written projects and graduate together in May, 2025. However, we need each other to finish the race. Even though we are not physically meeting, we will encourage and pray for each other as life could potentially toss a curve ball during the home stretch.

We cannot do life alone. Hebrews 10:25 says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (NLT). What does your community look like? Are people praying for you, and you for them? Who are your cheerleaders? Do you have too many naysayers?

We get into trouble when hurt feelings cause us to isolate ourselves. We rely on isolatory social media to nurture relationships rather than church, small group studies, or ministry groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention the suicide rate rose 2.6% from 2021 to 2022 and social isolation is one of the main risk factors associated with suicidal outcomes (National Library of Medicine). Community is good for our mental health.

Jesus did not live as a loner. He had a small group of twelve disciples who He traveled with, taught, and with whom He broke bread. My guess is He enjoyed the companionship, but in His most dire hour prior to His arrest and crucifixion, he pleaded with his best friends to stay awake and pray with Him. He knew what was coming and needed His closest pals.

Our heavenly Father desires relationship. That is why He created us. That’s why He invented prayer. That’s the reason he created a way for us to enter the Holy of Holies where He resides so we can spend time in His presence.

When I moved to a new area almost eighteen years ago, I prayed for friends, and God was faithful to provide. He will do the same for you. Ask the LORD to direct you to a group of loving people who will care for you like family, and who will hold your hand during the worst and best of times. Life is meant to be shared.

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One Comment

  1. You have enriched my life in so many ways!
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart (soon to be) Dr. Worley!

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