I thought I’d write a quick post without much thought because it’s my brother’s 30th birthday today. I’ll turn 30 in a few years (I jest – I have already). Banter. But I remember at the time thinking, “wow…I’m really 30?”. It felt landmarkesque. That’s not even a word. It is now.
The seventeenth verse of the seventeenth chapter of Proverbs (it’d have been a lot quicker to write Prov.17:17) says that ‘Brothers are born for adversity”. This is an awesome truth that applies to Christian brothers but, uniquely, our blood siblings.
Proverbs 17:17 is an amazing verse. It doesn’t say Mothers or Fathers or even friends are born for adversity; it says that brothers are. Perhaps that’s because brothers and sisters are usually around for the larger span of one’s life whereas the others aren’t, normally at least – (parents because of age and friends often because of the changeable and nomadic nature of life).
It is true that spirit is thicker than blood, (because heaven is more real than earth and spirit more than flesh) but when you have kindred spirits with a blood brother (or sister)…it is amazing.
This is seen so powerfully in Genesis 42-44 as Jacob’s 11 sons travel to Egypt to see Joseph to buy grain in the midst of famine. They didn’t recognise Joseph but he did recognise them. The most striking part of this account is the way that Joseph struggles to maintain composure in the presence of Benjamin (the son of his own mother) such was the sense of connection with him as a brother. Joseph had to leave their presence to wash his face because he was weeping, and this is over a brother (so powerful is the connection) who had sold hm into slavery years before.
One of the main reasons that brothers and sisters can help in adversity in ways that others can’t is because of shared history. Yes, you can share history with a friend (perhaps more meaningfully) than a sibling, but the unique blood/dna/spiritual link with a family member means that the synergy in shared history will be more poignantly shared than with others. I think it’s this closely shared and interpreted history that is especially valuable in times of adversity – at least, this has been my experience.
Told you it’d be quick!