another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NASB)
My friend Suzanne recently wrote about a person she encountered having the
“needy chair” stuck to her butt. I think all of us at times have
spent time in that needy chair. This issue came to the forefront of my
thinking when one of my little dogs recently got sick. My beloved little
doggie would not eat and he would not drink and he was essentially immobile. He
was laying and sleeping constantly and obviously miserable. Despite the medical
care we sought for Buddy he was not getting better. We honestly thought
he was dying. I admit, I was in the dumps over this. He’s been a part of our
family for 10 years and everyone who meets Buddy immediately loves him.
many talks with myself and with God in the midst of these days of uncertainty
and fear. As I sat on the needy chair I told myself truth, reminded myself of
God’s sovereignty, prayed for my concerns, and did the things I needed to do.
One of the conversations I had with myself was about the seriousness of the trial
and my reaction to it. Was I overreacting to my dog’s ailment? What would my
response be if someone came to me with their own dog story? Would I want to
discount it as not important and tell them (essentially) to get over it?
my friends consistently asked me how my little Buddy was doing. And at first I
was tempted to say it didn’t matter in the face of one friend who has cancer,
and another friend who lost her husband, and another friend whose husband left
her, and another friend whose child is struggling. How can my sick little doggie
matter in the face of such great suffering?
problems, big and small matter. So often it seems we want to “one up”
each other with the trials and difficulties that we have going on in our own
lives that we don’t to take the time to stop and listen to the heartache that
is emanating from the other person about a problem or circumstance that is of
tremendous importance to them. We should not weigh the
problems and burdens of other people and judge who is burdens are worthy of interest
and prayer and whose are not. I do not think that glorifies God when we do
life is hard!
to be clear that just because you might not be dodging bombs, or your spouse
has not committed adultery, or your kids are not rebellious, or your job is
great, that does not invalidate the trials and struggles that you are having
today. Just because your problems are not as bad as my problems doesn’t mean
that your problems aren’t problems. It does not invalidate the fact that you
have issues and situations that cause you great pain or discomfort.
problems do matter!
First, they matter to you. There are things in your life that are disturbing
your peace and your serenity. There are things in your life they’re not going
exactly as you had planned and they are causing you difficulty.
Second, they matter to those around you or, they ought to! If you find your
friends or people who call you friend are too busy to listen to you lament and
to offer biblical solutions, then they might possibly not be very good
and by no means least, your problems and your trials and your situations matter
to God! He loves you! He cares about you! He is in the middle of your trials
and problems with you! He knows you better than anyone in the whole world, he
knows every hair on you her head and you are important to Him. Because you are
in Christ you have an incredibly high value to God.
you to know that God is working through your trials and circumstances. He is
working in the little things as well as the big things. He cares when you miss
the bus and He cares when you are denied a promotion. He cares when a friend is
cruel or indifferent to you. He will never be indifferent to
have a friend whose trial is not as great as yours is right now, whose
suffering is not as deep as yours is right now, don’t belittle their suffering.
Don’t minimize it in the face of your own.
another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
cares about your sister in Christ as much as he cares about you. Be a listening
ear, and listen with the intent to support, to possibly teach, possibly rebuke,
possibly instruct in righteousness. I am not suggesting you entertain gossip or
slander, but I am encouraging you to come alongside your
hurting sister in Christ, even in the midst of your own suffering and sorrow.
Second Corinthians chapter 1 tells us that God will comfort us so that we will
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of
all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we
will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort
with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NASB)
again, just because my problems are not as catastrophic as your problems are
does not mean that my problems don’t matter. There should not be a ratings
scale when it comes to bearing one another’s burdens. We should not decide
who’s burdens are heavier or way more than others and compare ourselves and our
sorrows as though we are judging who needs support and who does not.
are you doing in this? How are you doing at being a comforter? How are you
doing at bearing and encouraging her? Maybe it’s time to examine yourself, and
see if you are indeed sharing caring and bearing one another’s burdens. You
matter to God! And you should matter to other people in your life that are
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