and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
My mom always taught me that this verse means that we are to come alongside each other when someone’s load is too heavy for just one person to carry. I have spent the last year gawking at such a load in front of me. It’s much too overwhelming for me to carry by myself. But instead of doing something, I sat on it and waited for somebody, or several somebodies, to come to my aid.
As time marched on, I grew a little sullen that nobody seemed to notice, or perhaps care, that I have such a burden to carry. I’m afraid to admit that this burden continued to fester in me, until one day I decided to pray about it. I asked God, “Why haven’t You sent someone to help me with this?” God doesn’t always answer in the way I would like Him to, but on this day, He did respond right away.
It was pretty clear that I hadn’t bothered to actually ask anybody for help. And I do tend to put off this persona that I am plenty capable on my own and I don’t need a whole lot of help. But then when I do need help, I act surprised that nobody notices.
While I sat around waiting for some help, I neglected to notice that some others around me were also carrying heavy loads, but I was too focused on my own burden to notice. In one of my favorite devotionals, Streams in the Desert, J.R. Miller says:
“. . . to refuse to bend our shoulders to carry a load is to miss a new opportunity for growth.”
Rather than waiting for someone to help me, I decided to start helping out wherever I could. Then, to my surprise, others have reciprocated in kind.
God is kind of funny that way.