(My Aunt Barb, Reagan & I)
This weekend we were surprised with a visit from my great aunt and uncle. My Aunt Barb is one of the sweetest woman you will meet. She has always treated me like a granddaughter, excited to see me and full of words of encouragement. My husband and I alway love to see them! As my son gets older, I want to always fill his life with loved ones and to stress the importance of family in his life.
Today this verse has been on my mind:
Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galations 6:2 KJV)
Last night at church my pastor told us a story about a man he met 10-15 years ago. He was at a ministers conference and before the start of one of the services they had prayer for this man. The man had cancer and was told he had hours, maybe minutes to live and if he attended the conference he would most likely pass away there. All of a sudden the guy sitting next to my pastor nudged him and said, “that’s the man we are praying for!” A man was coming in, bent over, struggling to walk, and looked like he was on death’s door. The man is still alive and healthy today!
The story was used to encourage faith in us, but while it was being told something came to my mind. I pictured this man walking into the building, bent up (in pain I’m sure), shuffling each step, breath labored, and so close to death that one foot was probably in the grave. Tears came to my eyes and a thought came to my mind. How many of us look like that in our spirits and minds, in a place no one can see? Oh it’s easy to have compassion when you see something like my pastor did that day…it was a visible burden. But more likely than not, most of us bear invisible burdens. Burdens of family problems, finances, depression, and pain. We can smile and cover up these burdens, but really on the inside we are crippled with fear, anxiety, or doubt. The verse says to bear each other’s burdens. Not just the ones we can see, but also those we can’t. We have to ask God for a sensitivity to know when someone has an unseen burden and pray for a compassion to help carry it. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own situations that we think we are the only ones carrying a load. Just a prayer, an encouraging word, or whatever else The Lord may lay on your heart, is something that will ease their burden just enough to pick their head up and get that one foot out of the grave.
Speaking of family, Paul, Reagan and I stopped in and visited his aunt we haven’t seen for months. She only lives 20 minutes away and right next to where we shop and eat out, but, in the busyness of life, we just haven’t dropped in to see her. She was so happy to see us and shared how lonely she was. She can’t get out much and spends her days home alone while her husband works long hours. Not many come to visit and she’s alone 99% of the time. It really reminded me how precious family is and how easy it can be to bear someone else’s burden. We left her with a smile on her face and we definitely won’t wait that long to visit again!
This week, make your loved ones priority and pray that God gives you a compassion to bear other’s burdens!