Encouragement for Today - July 6, 2011
July 6, 2011
"Share each other's burdens..." Galatians 6:2a (NLT)
There are times all of us find ourselves in the trenches in life — those deep places we can't seem to climb our way out of.
Sometimes those places involve decisions of our own, where we made a conscious choice to do something that wound up hurting us. Other times, someone made a decision for us that put us there, without our permission.
Either way, there is a great need — a need for someone to understand, someone to listen, someone to be available for us, to grieve with us and cry with us — no matter how dark it may get.
I've been in the trenches at different times in my own life. I found myself there when I was in college and my pastor-father was facing potential prison. I wound up there, again, when I partied hard to numb the pain, causing even more for myself. Years later, I found myself in a trench when my husband lost his job and was out of work for an extended period of time.
It was in those moments that I longed for someone to say to me, "I'm here with you. I won't leave you. You will get through this, and I will love you no matter what." Because at the end of the day, all of us want to know that there is someone who won't walk away from us, even when they see how ugly things can get in our biggest moments of struggle.
It is the mark of a true friend. It is a rare find.
I once heard a speaker say how in her community, it was not unusual for people to sit with one another for up to seven days during times of loss and grief. As I listened to her speak, I thought about how amazing and important that aspect of community could be to us in our greatest moments of pain — those moments we find ourselves in a deep trench from which we won't easily emerge.
Our key verse refers to this beautiful aspect of friendship when it says, simply, "Share each other's burdens..." For the believer, this is not a suggestion. It is something Jesus expects us to do as we represent Him.
One of the best ways we spread the love of Christ is through our selfless acts of love and serving another. It's not easy to share in someone's burden, especially when that burden is great. But it is right. It is good. It is what Jesus does for us.
Many of us have been in the trenches, so we understand this hard position. It is where some of us are even now. Some of the greatest ministry Jesus will ever do in our lives is when we find ourselves in a place we can't maneuver, claw, or dig our way out of. It is the place He meets us because our desperation finally drives us to Him — a place we most need to be.
Friends, let's keep our eyes and ears open for the opportunity to get in the trenches and share in the burdens of another. Let's be willing to be there with our friends who find themselves in a position they don't want to handle alone. Let's remember the One who is always present in the trenches with us.
And let's thank Him for His care, presence and faithfulness in the midst of our needs...the trench moments of our life.
Dear Lord, we are grateful that there is no trench too deep, no place too dark that you can't reach us. It is because of You we are never alone. Thank You for Your care and faithful love. Help us to share in the burdens of another, and seek You in our greatest moments of need. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
Share your thoughts and stories with Lisa on her website.
Will you join Proverbs 31 Ministries in the trenches of women's lives? To find out how you can be part of bringing the hope of Christ and the life-giving power of God's word to women around the world, click here.
The 7 Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do by Kathie Reimer and Lisa Whittle
Understand the importance of community by reading the characteristics of the first church in Acts 2:43-47.
Ask Jesus to give you His eyes to see others' needs, and His heart to help people in trenches by making yourself available to them.
Remember times when you needed someone to be in the trenches with you. Think about how Jesus has met that need in your own life and thank Him today.
Have I recognized the ways Jesus has gotten in the trenches with me?
Am I willing to get in the trenches with someone in need?
Psalm 55:22a, "Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you." (NLT)
John 13:35, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (NLT)
© 2011 by Lisa Whittle. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105