“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” ~ Galatians 6:2
The house smells so good! There’s nothing like the aroma of fresh cookies, and you can’t wait to sink your teeth into a tasty morsel! Going into the kitchen, you grab a pot holder, open the oven door and lean down to collect the prize. In your haste, you reach into the oven to pull out the cookies and burn yourself. Leaving the tray in the oven, you start the search for some burn cream to cool the pain and stop the blistering process. You try ignoring the sting emanating from your fingers but it permeates your sensibilities while you scavenge the shelves. Finally you locate the cream, remove the lid, and squeeze a dab onto your finger. Instant relief. With the pain under control you pursue the original mission of snatching a cookie.
Our spiritual walks work similarly. You have accepted Christ. You know His plan for you, and you are pressing on to the mark excitedly. You cannot wait to serve and show the Lover of your soul just how much you appreciate His sacrifice. As you approach the task, you anticipate what it will be like. Then life happens. Satan swoops in and burns your proverbial finger. Your soul aches. You try to continue as though nothing has happened, and yet pain permeates your every action.
I’ve been there. We all have. In fact, sometimes the pain lets up but then the Devil brings it back again. In those instances, God often places a “healing balm” in our paths. Another believer who reaches out. They say just the right words of comfort, or they do something to show their care. It doesn’t matter how small the action or words, their concern makes the difference. Instant relief.
I had this experience last week. Every year I live in dread of Mother’s Day. While everyone else anticipates the day or their scheduled activities, I reflect on my past and my pain resurfaces. My mother died a few years ago, and my unfulfilled dream of becoming a mother myself haunts me. I dread pretending everything is alright while everyone around me celebrates. I dread the questions of: What will you be doing? Where will you go? I dread the church service when all the mothers stand, and those of us less “blessed” or “incomplete” women remain seated, feeling insignificant and hopeless. I hate all of it.
Last Wednesday as I was leaving the church, a dear older sister called me to her vehicle. Placing her hand on my arm, she told me that God had laid my cause on her heart, and she had been praying for me. She said she knew that while everyone else was exhorted, I would remain sitting. She went on to tell me that even though I have lost several children, I am a mother. My babies are in heaven and I will have a Mother’s Day with them someday. She then told me how even though I didn’t give birth to them, I have mothered the kids who come to the youth group where my husband and I serve as youth leaders. She talked about the teens we have welcomed into our home and who have lived with us for a few nights, to a few weeks, to a number of months. She assured me they felt a mother’s love. She gave me a Mother’s Day card and a warm embrace. Then she was gone.
I have to admit. Up until Wednesday of last week, I was living in pain. As is my custom, I was bearing my losses and pretending I was okay. Under the surface though, the pain was raw. When this lady reached out to me, it was instant relief. It wasn’t the words she said (though they were beautiful) or her actions, it was that she cared. She knew I would be hurting and she cared enough to reach out to me. She exemplified Galatians 6:2 by bearing my burden and offering hope. I don’t know if she understands how much I appreciated it, but between us, I’ll never forget it. I feel rejuvenated and inspired to be a light in this world; to reach out and touch those around me who are broken; to be the healing balm that the lost and hurting need so desperately.
What about you? Has someone reached out and offered comfort at exactly your time of need? How can you reciprocate? What can you do to offer love and support to someone who is hurting around you?