Isolation is one of the greatest tendencies in the life of people who are having difficulties. Isolation is also the worst thing we can do when we are having difficulties. The pathway of life has its potholes and its rough spots. There is no way around it. Our faith can take a beating when we feel inundated by difficulties. The first thing many of us do when we feel overwhelmed is isolate. We want to find a corner and crawl up into the fetal position and escape the world. If you are feeling overwhelmed and have a desire to isolate yourself from the rest of the world, I want to encourage you to “just lean.”
Years ago, I pastored a church in a small Oklahoma community that was predominately Native American. My kids wanted to visit the cultural museum to see a “real live teepee!” At first, I thought, “You’ve seen one teepee you’ve seen ‘em all!” But as I began to study its structure, God began to speak to my heart about my relationships. Most houses in America are built with 2×4 studs standing straight up in the air and nailed together to keep from falling down. But a teepee is made up of log poles that all lean on each other and then bound together at the top by a single rope. That style of structure is very strong and secure against the mighty Oklahoma wind. If applied to relationships, we stand best by leaning. During those times in life when we can be blown away by problems, the best stance is to lean on others. In those trials, grief, pain and struggles, I encourage you to simply lean on God and on others. We find strength when we lean on each other rather than isolating and standing up on our own two feet.