Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
How do you carry each other’s burdens?
The picture that comes to my mind is one picking up a heavy sack, tossing it over his/her shoulder, and carrying if for someone else. Or maybe Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was forced to carry Jesus’ cross (Mark 15:21). Or maybe simply praying for a friend in need. Sometimes, prayer is the best way to carry another’s burdens, especially when it comes to circumstances to great for us to change. But sometimes prayer becomes a type of cop-out. I believe in prayer. I also believe God wants us to be the hands, feet, shoulders, backs, arms of prayer. In other words, we are to personify prayer.
There are things only God can fix or change. Never stop praying for help in those areas. But there are things He expects us to do for ourselves and for one another. Thus, He commands us to carry one another’s burdens.
I’ve been a long-time fan of Christians organizing groups to go into disaster-stricken areas to help clean up and fix up. However, none of us has to leave our community to help clean, garden, mow grass, etc. I often thought and even commented that our churches ought to find the needs of our local communities, even people within our congregations and offer assistance. To my shame, I never followed up on it.
Nevertheless, I was delighted to hear our church was moving forward in this type of ministry. How did I find out about it? The young mother who is heading it up contacted me on Facebook Messenger. Not with: Would you like to be on the committee to seek out people in need? Or would you like to help clean Sister Misfortunate’s house? Or would you be able to drive Brother Sicklee to a doctor’s appointment Tuesday? Nope, none of that. She asked me what the church could do for ME. Seriously?
The Father has been teaching me all about humility for the past several months (see Humble Pie). Apparently, I still have some learning to do. Plus, I really want to see this new-to-our-church program be successful. So Gene and I agreed to be one of the first on the list to receive assistance. It’s very humbling to admit you can do the things you used to do like houseclean your kitchen or wash your own windows. But for now, I just can’t do it. I DO need help. And it’s not fair to expect Gene to do it all. They offered to help with the flower beds and houseclean my grooming shop as well. The most humbling part of the deal is seeing the names on the list of volunteers, including our pastor’s wife who also had a bout with cancer this fall. She had surgery and extensive radiation. I feel like I should be cleaning her house.
I’m learning to humbly accept assistance when offered. I’m also learning to see the needs of others and offer my help when possible.
How about you? What is God teaching you about humility?
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks
Brenda, you are so blessed. All this love, care where you mostly need it. As you helped others, God is rewarding by sending help through your church. Not many churches care for their sheep. Beautiful!!! I’m glad about being humble that you accepted!!! You are learning and growing through this trial to grow and depend on the love of Christ…
You’re right, Sana, our church is very caring and I am learning and growing through this trial. Thanks for commenting.
Brenda, one of my spiritual gifts is serving. Mixed with my other of mercy, it gets a little much sometimes, and I also must relinquish my need to do it all myself…whether my own home or projects for others. I’m working on some Chicken Soup stories about my grandparents, one of which fits this post. When I came home from the hospital after Sarah was born, the house was in terrible condition. I had been on bed rest for 10 weeks at my mom’s, and Kevin isn’t keen on housework. LOL! I also came down with a stomach virus! Caring for a two-year-old, a nursing baby, and a filthy house while vomiting and sitting on a toilet doesn’t work, to say the least. A knock on my door startled me, and I opened it to find my Nanny, bucket and scrub brush in hand. In a no-nonsense fashion, she came in, put down her kneeling pad to protect her arthritic knees, and scrubbed my kitchen floor! She used Comet to get every inch sparkling clean. And this was no small kitchen, but one of those old, huge, square kitchens in an old farmhouse. I’d like to say I felt grateful and thanked her profusely, but I was so embarrassed over having my grandmother cleaning my floors that after she left, with a mumbled thank you from me, I wept. Only years later would I be able to relate this in the attitude I now have, the one which says, “Thank You, Jesus, for the love and care of others in this world whom I could not live without!” Blessings!
Great memory, Cathy. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Brenda – it is indeed humbling to ask for help, but we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t need help now and then. Thank you for sharing your story and being open about the experience of getting help when you are in need.
Thanks for the encouragement, Terri.