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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Strong in the Lord: Stick Together

by Marilynn Chadwick

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus... (Romans 15:5 NIV, 1984 version).

I love going to the beach. Everything about a trip to the ocean inspires, refreshes, and amazes me! Of all the oceanic animals God created, I am most fascinated by bottlenose dolphins, the most intelligent creatures in the ocean. Dolphins are easily trained. They can reason, solve problems, think abstractly, and even recognize themselves in a mirror! Dolphins can also swim up to 35 miles an hour. They’re incredibly strong and can use their snout as a high-speed battering ram. No wonder they have virtually no natural predators.

We can learn a few lessons about strength from these powerful and magnificent creatures. Stories abound of dolphins protecting humans against sharks. My dad happens to be one of the few living World War II submarine veterans. While on long, hot tours in the South Pacific, the sailors hoped to see dolphins swimming close by so they could dive off the sub for a refreshing swim—sure to be safe from sharks.

Sharks steer clear of dolphins for another reason: Dolphins don’t travel alone. They find safety in numbers by sticking together in groups or “pods.” Like dolphins, our teammates can help us gain strength in prayer, which in turn, helps us defeat our spiritual enemies.

Jesus said it this way: “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19 NIV). The Greek word translated "agree" is symphone, which comes from two words which mean “together” and “voice.” When believers gather for prayer, they are like a "symphony" of powerful prayer.

This principle was reinforced by a Marine who saw lots of combat duty in Iraq. He shared a lesson I’ll never forget. “When danger hits,” he explained, “I’m trained to run toward the danger. But my second response is to look around for my men.” “So you can protect them?” I asked. “No,” he said firmly. “I look around for my men because I know I cannot do this mission by myself.” Much like dolphins, marines know they need to stick together to be strong.

Are you connected with other members of the body of Christ? In prayer, in Bible study, in fellowship, and in service to others? Our mission—the Great Commission—is too important and too dangerous to be accomplished alone.

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