Wonderful stuff here Alex. As you say, together, we can hold together, as with the analogy of the stick bundle being stronger than the single stick.
The trials we all go through are like this, in my perception anyway....
We are all like blocks of metal. Life can be like a forge, and trials are like the blows of the Smith's hammer. It can be a lot of stress on our metal, but through fire and the hammer, we can become fine swords, the blows, the tempering, all that rough handling can create great works, sharpen our resolve, and strengthen us ultimately. Sure, sometimes we break. But overall, it appears we improve from those trials.
And yes, sir, we are indeed blessed! May you enjoy the rest of your evening.