Surround Yourself with the Right Team to Weather Life’s Storms

Surround Yourself with the Right Team to Weather Life’s Storms

There is a popular saying that goes, “no man is an island.” What that means is that we humans are not meant to do life alone. What we do and say affects others and what they do and say affects us. That implies that the greatest thing we can do to cultivate success in life is to intentionally surround ourselves with the right people, or personal “team.”

Your “team” is that group of people who influence you and your life decisions the most. They may be your group of trusted friends, or your parents, spouse and children. Maybe your team is your neighbors, your co-workers, or the people in your connection group.

Whoever makes up that team for you, if you want to find yourself still standing at the end of life’s inevitable storms, you must surround yourself with the right team.

We can see the truth of this played out in Luke 5, the story of the paralyzed man and his four friends.

“One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’ … He said to the paralyzed man, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God” (Luke 5:17-20, 24-25).

Notice that this paralyzed man found himself at the end of his personal health storm, standing and perfectly healed, because he had the right team of friends surrounding him.

There are four practical laws for creating this kind of an amazing team, that, if you will apply them in your storm, will empower you as well.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Luis Alvarez

The Law of Synergy

Two women friends hugging on a bench

Clearly, there are certain things you can’t do alone: moving a piano upstairs, playing football, assembly-line manufacturing, and zipping up little black dresses.

All kidding aside, it’s important to realize beforehand that we aren’t built to go through storms alone. We need help. We need other people to create the power of synergy.

What is synergy? It simply means the sum of the whole is greater than the individual parts.

Fun fact: if you take two equally powerful horses, each of which has the ability to pull 1,000 lbs. alone, and put them together you would expect that together they can pull 2,000 lbs. But the surprising reality is that together they can pull 2,600 lbs. And if you add a third horse to the mix who can also individually pull a 1,000 lbs., those three working together can pull 6,000 lbs.! That’s synergy.

As a matter of fact, this “law of synergy” is the very first truth that God spoke concerning man. Recall that in the first chapter of Genesis, on day one, God created light and said, “It is good” (Genesis 1:3-5).

And after each progressive step of creation, He looked and also declared, “It is good!” But after the creation of man, He stopped and said:

"It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18).

Why did God say it was not good for man to be alone? It was not simply to prevent loneliness. Without the assistance of another, the man could not bring to pass the very purpose for which God created him:

“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it’” (Genesis 1:28).

Man was created for God’s pleasure, in order to accomplish God’s plan for planet earth – to give God a large family of sons and daughters to love and fellowship with!

So God gave Adam the difference maker, Eve, who would provide him with the help he needed to accomplish God’s plan.

And here is the point – the very first thing we are told in the Bible concerning our God-ordained destinies is that there are certain things we just can’t accomplish alone. You can’t become what God intended for you to become without help.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

“…one can put to flight a thousand and two can put to flight ten thousand” (Deuteronomy 32:30).

Even Jesus espoused this law of synergy:

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:19-20).

And it’s how we make it through life’s storms.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Kikovic

The Law of Velcro

Men praying over another younger man

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).

What kind of team do you want to surround yourself with when you are going through a trial? True friends – people who are committed and loyal to each other. People you can trust to stick by you, regardless of how fierce or frightening the storm becomes. Isn’t that the kind of team that the paralyzed man of Luke 5 had around him?

In the Hebrew culture, a physical disability carried an enormous moral stigma. People believed it was a divine indictment that you (or your parents) had done something really, really wrong (John 9:2). It was an unmistakable sign to the rest of society that a horrible sin was being punished.

The paralytic man lived everyday under the shadow of that stigma. He was helpless: somebody had to feed him, carry him, clean him. There was no medical treatment or physical therapy, no hope of ever doing anything but lying by the side of the road, begging for money as people passed by.

He had no job, no influence – just the certainty of a bleak and hopeless future.

Normally, he would not be a top candidate for anyone to befriend. It would mean giving much more than receiving from the relationship. But he had some Velcro friends who decided that they were going to stick by him regardless.

We all need people that will stick by us, no matter what our handicap, no matter what our emotional state, or how bad our attitude. People that won’t abandon us in the storm, regardless of how unscriptural we reacted or how grave the sin was.

Velcro friends can help restore us when we have fallen, encourage us to muscle through obstacles, and enable us to endure.

How do you build a team of Velcro friends so that when a storm hits, they will be there for you? Simple. Be a Velcro friend to others first.

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

It’s like sowing and reaping. If we will be the Velcro kind of friend toward others, we will have those kinds of friends in our lives as well.

Photo credit: Unsplash/Jack Sharp

The Law of Price Tag

Offering a helping hand

When going through a storm, we need people who are willing to pay whatever price is necessary to help us overcome. Notice the high price that the paralyzed man’s friends were willing to pay for him:

The Cost of the Carry

Word had gone out that Jesus was teaching in Capernaum, and this was no ordinary teacher. He was able to open blind eyes, unstop deaf ears, and even raise the dead. And clearly, if He could do all that, then He could cause their paralyzed friend to walk.

But they had to get him there on a stretcher. We are not told how long and hot the journey was, or how difficult and treacherous the road. We are just told that they came carrying him.

This was a once in a lifetime chance for their friend, and they were willing to pay whatever price was necessary in order to help him overcome this storm.

The Cost of the Crowd

When they got to the house, it was crowded with people blocking the doors and windows. The people were fussing and fighting, pushing and prying, just to get a bit closer to see and hear the Teacher inside.

The four friends had already paid a huge price for the carry, and now the price just got a lot higher. 

So what did they do? They inched through the press of people and paid…

The Cost of the Climb

“Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on” (Mark 2:4).

In those days, homes had flat roofs that people used as additional living space. Most had a ladder or steps on the outside to allow people to access the area. They also had trap doors through which the friends thought to get the man inside the house. Whatever it took, they were determined to get their friend to Jesus to receive the help he needed.

But when they all got up there and opened the trap door they discovered something that would have caused most friends to quit. These trap doors were located between beams just 3’ apart. And the stretcher was wider than three feet.

At this point they could have said, we tried our best, friend. Sorry.

Instead, they ripped the roof apart to make an opening wide enough to send their friend down to Jesus!

Are we the type of person that is willing to pay any price necessary to help a friend through their storm? Because the extent to which we are willing to pay a price for someone else will determine the price that others are willing to pay for us when we go through our storms.

Helping someone through a storm is messy, inconvenient, and more than just a prayer and a pat on the back. But if you are going to make it through life’s storms, you need a team around you who will pay whatever price is necessary.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/kieferpix

The Law of Crazy Faith

Circle of people praying together in unity.

And how does the story end? These four friends demonstrated crazy faith.

Imagine, Jesus was inside the house teaching to a packed crowd, including scribes and Pharisees. Suddenly, dust and dirt began to fall from the ceiling, then a ray of sunlight burst through. Everyone was staring at the hole getting bigger and bigger until eventually, the man is lowered before Jesus. The crowds saw “crazy”, but Jesus saw something else – faith for a miracle.

Faith is often doing what seems crazy, in anticipation that God can and will do what seems impossible.

Remember, when you are going through a trial, you don’t need casual Christians around you who will dampen your faith. And you don’t need people who place limits on God when you need something impossible. You need people with crazy faith!

Crazy faith says there are no obstacles too big, or challenge too great; there is no problem too severe, nor storm too strong for our God!

The man made it through his storm with the help of his friends’ crazy faith. The same can be true for all of us. Refuse to go it alone – if we get the right team around us, we will overcome life’s storms!

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Delmaine Donson

Frank SantoraFrank Santora is Lead Pastor of Faith Church, a multi-site church with locations in Connecticut and New York. Pastor Frank hosts a weekly television show, “Destined to Win,” which airs weekly on the Hillsong Channel and TBN. He has authored thirteen books, including the most recent, Modern Day Psalms and Good Good Father. To learn more about Pastor Frank and this ministry, please visit Photo by Michele Roman.