Bear One Another’s Burdens

There are times when the only thing we know to do is cry out to God for help. We’ve exhausted our options, our strength has failed, and we are at the mercy of others and circumstances around us… It’s the point at which we exasperate ourselves and finally say, “I give up… there’s nothing else can do.”

When we are at our end, God can show Himself miraculous.

This is what I like to call the point of convergence. It is where our humanity and the divine meet in the most beautifulway that is unexpected, shocking, messy, healing, and hopeful… the point at which God can truly take the reins and show Himself strong.

In my own life, I can recall several points of convergence. An attempted suicide. The loss of someone close. My son being rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. My failing marriage. It was during these times I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. I had done everything I knew to do to make things better. Books (including the Bible), therapy, small groups, accountability partners, conferences, classes, meditation and prayer… the list goes on. In hindsight, I realized I needed two things 1) God to take over and 2) other people.

I heard someone say recently that we are wounded by others so it seems fit we need to be healed by others as well. When we read the 10 Commandments, there’s a reason God gave us the first 4 commandments to address our relationship with Him, but then 6 to tend to our relationships with others. We don’t just “need” one another…relationships are actually an important part of our worship. Sometimes when we are at our end the last thing we want to do is reach out for help when that’s exactly what we might need to heal. We go it alone, thinking we can handle it…at least I do. Unfortunately, in those times I just end up feeling more out of control. And when we feel a lack of self-control we often attempt to control others! And the cycle continues…

Being in community takes courage and it takes effort. It takes time. It takes security. When our self-worth isn’t on the line, we are far more willing to be courageous and risk sharing our lives with people. The people who know enough about me to hurt me or judge me are the ones who are also going to aid in God’s healing for my life. In a world connected by social media and technology we couldn’t be further from true relationship in some ways, but when we take a risk and share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding it’s a beautiful thing. It’s the Gospel.

Paul says in Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

It’s scary to truly do this. To take a risk and be vulnerable. To open our lives up to others. When I reached those points in convergence in my life what made the difference was laying down my pride and telling someone what I was going through. I was embarrassed, I felt weak and I didn’t know how they would respond. I encourage you to try being brutally honest and see what happens. Be fully seen. Of course, some people might not be able to handle it, but others will be tremendously relieved because they’re not alone. Vulnerability isn’t weakness but immense strength. It’s when we are completely exposed yet unashamed…for a Christian, I’d say it’s kind of like a return to the Garden of Eden…walking completely exposed yet unashamed. Known. Ultimately, the way God intended.

At some point we come to realize that as a believer, a get out of Hell free card doesn’t satisfy the hunger to see the Gospel in action here on earth. It doesn’t satisfy our longing to return to a place like Eden. We need the saving, living, breathing grace of God in our lives. Perhaps that might come when we ask for help…when we admit when we’re wrong…when we admit when we’re struggling or that we’re embarrassed about something.

Worshipping in community might just be our secret weapon to accomplish God’s work in us…and what He’s put in our hearts to accomplish in the world.

Tasha Layton

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