According to an African fable, four fingers and a thumb lived together on a hand. They were inseparable friends. One day, they noticed a gold ring lying next to them and conspired to take it. The thumb said it would be wrong to steal the ring, but the four fingers called him a self-righteous coward and refused to be his friend. That was just fine with the thumb; he wanted nothing to do with their mischief. This is why, the legend goes, the thumb still stands separate from the other fingers.

This tale reminds me that at times we may feel we’re standing alone when wrongdoing surrounds us. In Noah’s day, the earth was filled with violence; every thought in every heart was “evil continually” (Gen. 6:5,11). Yet “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (v.8). Fully devoted to God, Noah obeyed Him and built the ark. The Lord, in His grace, spared him and his family.

We too have been shown God’s grace through His Son Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We have every reason to bring Him honor and stand strong for Him in our daily lives. He is always near, even abiding in us, so we never really stand alone. His “ears are open to [our] cry” (Ps. 34:15).