by Charles R. Swindoll
This thing called life is an awfully long journey. For some, it seems an endless trip, filled with thankless responsibilities and relentless tasks, disappointments and deadlines, and daily demands.
Being imperfect doesn't help. Every so often we make stupid decisions. We say things we wish we could retrieve. Selfishly, we look out for number one and later regret it. We act impulsively and realize, after the fact, how foolish we were, how dumb we looked. On top of all that, we hurt the ones we love the most. All this stuff caves in on us at certain times, and we wonder how anybody could ever love us . . . especially God.
When we start thinking like this, we need to turn our mind to the "one anothers" in the New Testament. Here's just a sampling: Love one another, build up one another, live in peace with one another, confess your sins to one another, speak to one another, admonish one another, comfort one another, pray for one another.
I deliberately saved my favorite for last: "Bear one another's burdens" (Gal. 6:2).
Imagine two mountain hikers trudging along, each carrying a backpack. The one on the left has a tiny, light pack that a kid could carry, while the poor soul on the right is so loaded down we can't even see his head or his body.
Let's imagine what he might be lugging in that pack down that long road. It could be a long-standing grudge that's poisoning his insides. It might be a broken relationship with his wife or one of his kids. That pack could be loaded with unpaid bills, all of them overdue.
The question is, Where can that fella on the right go to unload so the fella on the left can help "bear the burden"? By sitting in church alongside a few hundred or a couple thousand other folks? Hardly. What he needs most is to be involved in an adult fellowship in a small-group setting, a place where there is person-to-person caring and the opportunity for authentic sharing. Where he will feel free, without embarrassment or shame, to tell his secret or state his struggle; where someone will listen, help him unload, and give him fresh strength.
Adult fellowships and small groups are not miniature church services. They are pockets of people who love Christ and believe in helping one another. They don't point fingers or preach or compare. They are your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Once you begin unloading that pack, you'll discover how much easier the journey seems.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.