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Anyone who knows me knows how much I care about my family. They come second only to God in my heart. I leave my comfort zone for them, push limits and break barriers to help them achieve their goals, as long as they also are helping themselves. I hope they realize they can depend on me.
That being said, there are going to be things that no one, including me, can do for them and things that none of them can do for me. No matter how solid our relationships are, there are some experiences in this life we must face alone.
I have been guilty of not believing I was strong enough to get through whatever trial or hard time I was facing. I have been guilty of hanging on by an ever-unraveling thread. And I don’t believe I am alone in reaching that point. At these moments, I’ve often asked, sometimes quietly, sometimes aloud, “Where are all my family and friends now? Where are my friends who swear they have my back? When I have a whole community of people surrounding me, why do I feel so alone?”
I’ve heard that verse from Deuteronomy (Deut 32:30) my entire life. It’s been taught to me over the years as a tool for partnership and agreement in ministry. It’s a verse that shows we’re stronger and more powerful together. Indeed, we are. The right partner in ministry, in work, in love and in life will put you in a powerful position.
However, today I looked at that verse in a completely different way. I looked at it as a single person, an individual who ultimately can make decisions only for her soul. I realized that the verse says that one CAN chase a thousand, but that chasing that thousand is not a given. It is not something we do without thought or action. It is not an automatic byproduct of professing Jesus as Lord and savior.
I hear a lot of people use this verse in their loneliness. I’ve done it, too. However, how in the world can we put ten thousand to flight with someone else when we haven’t chased a thousand alone?
Are you chasing a thousand?
Are you doing everything you are called to do in your purpose? Most of us aren’t. Most of us refuse to be completely obedient because we believe we don’t have the time, the money or the energy to accomplish those things that dwell in our hearts. We don’t make the time to call or visit people. We don’t pray for people who have asked for prayer. We don’t utilize opportunities to share the good news of God’s love when we see someone hurting. We barely chase a hundred, and the Word clearly states we have the ability to chase 10 times that number. Alone.
We have to tap into the power of God that lives in us first. Before we worry about making the right connections, forging the right relationships and building a mega-ministry. We have to be willing to take those wilderness moments that we all must face alone and resolve to chase our thousand under the strength and authority of God. We have to begin to realize that chasing a thousand is pretty powerful, too. Until God opens the door for relationships to flourish, connections to be made and ministries to form, one is enough.
I promise you that I’m the first partaker of these words. I wrote this for me. But, just maybe, you’re here, too.
LaMonique Hamilton is a Wilson resident and former Times reporter and copy editor. She blogs about arts and culture at iamlamonique.com.