Bearing One Another’s Burdens

A good friend of mine made a very touching public statement about how we (Christ Followers) should bear one another’s burdens as the law of Christ demands. My friend was talking about our caring for one another is relates to physical, spiritual and emotional needs. He was saying that we should care enough about one another to know about a need, meet the need if possible, and walk with one another through to the solution (whether or not the need was met by us personally). In other words – taking another’s need as our own.

When read in context, the Galatians text is probably talking about us bearing with one another as we deal with the enticements and battles that we will face as Christians living in a fallen world. While the scriptural context my friend used was not perfect, the sentiment was right on target!

In James 2 we are asked this question, “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and be filled, and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? “

John 15:13 asserts, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

In Romans 12 we are admonished, “be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality”

In Philippians 2:4 are found these words, “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

As I reflect on these scriptures, being the cynic that I am, I found myself thinking – do we really bear one another’s burdens? And I said NO – not unless it is a burden that:

  • We feel is worth bearing/something we deem as worthy to be called a burden
  • Will not cost us anything financially
  • Will not cause us to have to inconvenience our time/schedule

I know – I know – those of you who read this and know me well will say, “Jan, that’s just how you think!” – that may be true about my heart and the way I see things. However, I want you to think about your life just over the last year.

  • How many times did you make yourself available to a friend contemplating suicide? (I mean, did you even give them enough attention to know that they were contemplating suicide? Did you get them help beyond their insurance/finances and take the hit?);
  • How many times did you give money that you earmarked for something else in order to ease another’s burden? (Not just money from your savings, retirement, etc. – I mean sacrificially giving that ‘last 2 dollars’ so that someone could eat, sleep, be seen at the doctor, etc.);
  • How many times did you commit to talk with some weekly about a problem/issue until it was resolved? (And did you keep the commitment?)
    Maybe an easier question is:
  • How many times did a person who calls you friend share a need, a serious need, with you and you chose to ignore it or better yet you chose to tell them ‘be warm and be filled’ without doing a thing tangible to help them or to make it better.

It’s not that we can’t do it – but will we do it? Will we allow our hearts to feel another’s pain and share in another’s joy in a real way? Or will we continue to say to one another be warm and be filled?

Love requires that we care!

Next time you tell a friend – “Take a load off!” – mean it!!

Being Kept! Being Healed!

OK – so this is 3 weeks and 5 days since the surgery. The end of the fourth week!

That’s my mom, 91 year old Mary Batties, in the picture with me. She had taken care of me all day and was getting ready to go home.  I have to start this telling you that I am so grateful for kind care for me! My mom and so many of my friends and my brothers and sisters in Christ! Cooking, cleaning, walking with me, putting the medicine together, and so much more! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! God has blessed me amazingly with each one of you!

Rejoicing for improvements.

I’ve started cleaning my bedroom and the kitchen. I sorted my laundry and am determined to wash it on my own this weekend.  I cooked an omelet and I made a cobbler.  I’m so very grateful for the improvement!!!

Joe has taken me walking in a couple of stores and even outside. I’m generally so tired and dizzy after what I would call a short walk; but I am so very grateful to Our God for keeping me and giving me beautiful enjoyment!  I’m grateful y’all!!!

My memory of people is improving! Hallelujah! Joe has built me a program called “Remembery” that puts pictures, names, and definitions in front of me of every person I need to know.  I am also using Facebook to be introduced to many.

I am hoping to receive permission to go to my church tomorrow. I also want to go to a friends birthday celebration Sunday afternoon – even if I can’t stay long. Y’all pray that I get permission!! 

As relates to my healing Don’t Stop Praying for me because my ability to communicate and to remember the vocabulary I normally have is not getting easier yet.  I read the Bible each and every day and I’ve started reading a book again and I’m hoping to process it well – in fact I am believing I will process it well! I trust Him! 

I trust Our God in bringing my mind and body back fully. He is faithful and He never fails His children!  Have you tried Him for your own difficulty? Have you depended upon Him in things where you might have depended upon people? God’s provision for healing is true and amazing! 

Father, You are the Living God.  There is just no other being in any place that can be looked upon to be a god – only You are the True and Living God! You are the One who brings death in your own time – surely; but You are the God who brings us to life! Father, it is true that You have allowed and even brought wounds to your people for reasons; but it is also true that only You will heal!!  I know, I believe; and I ask You to heal me! Oh, my Father – I love You!! No one can bring me from Your hand! Thank You, O Lord, for creating me – for saving me – for keeping me! (Deuteronomy 32:39)