|Photo courtesy Erik Thorson 2013|
Bear one another's burdens,
and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement,
"YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
It happened several times this week. I was busy getting through my own day when I received news of someone dear to me who's walking down a particularly difficult path this new year.
My response? A quick prayer upwards as I barrel on through my chores. Somehow that doesn't seem enough in these storm-tossed days. Granted, I have a lot on my own plate. But that should give me more compassion for those who are pelted with trials.
I know what it's like. Over the years, I've learned that life's struggles and joys wash in and out like an ocean's tide. We have had years of insane trials that threatened to drown me. During those times, dear friends stayed by our sides, lifting desperate prayers in our behalf. I understand how fragile life can be, how quickly we can be in over our heads.
But then the waves recede. I am in a better place than in recent years since our son's accident. I could spare a little extra time in prayer to help carry the burdens for someone who's in danger of getting washed out to sea.
That's what God has called us to do. We're not supposed to be lugging our troubles down parallel paths as we nod to each other in passing like ships in the night. We're supposed to be sharing the load.
Isolation is the deadly enemy that separates us from fellowship and keeps us from holding each other up when the tide is high. We need to check up on each other, listen to one another, and love each other as much as we love ourselves.
That's a lot of love.
As God reminded me recently, activity does not equal achievement. May God grant us the wisdom to separate the important from the urgent. May we be sensitive to the needs of others and to the call of the Spirit of God to care.
do not merely look out for your own personal interests,
but also for the interests of others.