Illness. Death. Depression. Financial issues. Divorce. Disappointment. Loss.
We've all we've been burdened by one of those or maybe all of them.
I think it's safe to say we're hurting people.
Lately, I've read a lot about people suffering including Christians. I think some people think that Christians live an easy, happy life, but the truth is, everyone faces hard times. Christians just realize that they have a Savior they can lean on. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 says, "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."
Not only have I read about suffering people, I know suffering people. Not only do I know suffering people, I see suffering people. People on the corners with signs crying out for help. People in hospitals wishing they were anywhere but there. People counting out pennies just to get food for their family. People in their homes yearning for a loved one to be with them.
For all these people, my heart hurts for them especially for my friends, Alisa and Jaime. It seems like holidays only make this hurt intensified and I just wish I could take it away. Although I can't take it away, God tells me that I can do something..."Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ," Galations 6:2.
Angie Smith talks about this verse in her book, Mended. The Greek word for burdens is "baros" which is translated into "heaviness, weight, burden, trouble". She says, "Baros is the type of weight that is only of this world - the difficulties that come from living in a fallen world as a fallen person and with fallen people. It includes a sense of weight that is burdensome." It's crazy how Christmastime brings joy, but a lot of times we experience a heaviness. Is your heart heavy for someone right now?
Christmas is often labeled as the "season for giving". I think we should be giving throughout the whole year, but anyway, if you know someone who is suffering right now, share their burden with them. I know that may not sound like a fun time, but it's what we are called to do. You may not have money to give or a spectacular gift, but you can give them your time, a listening ear, and a prayer. It's okay to feel heavy for someone. God gave us emotions for a reason. He has given us experiences for a reason too. Maybe you can relate to someone who is suffering right now.
2 Corinthians 1:3-8 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of your comfort."
With that being said, reach out to those who are hurting right now.
Share your experiences. Give your love. Offer up prayer.
They will be comforted and you will too.
Today's scripture for the year long reading plan was 2 Corinthians 1-4. Yesterday's was 1 Corinthians 15-16. If you would like the full plan check it out here or shoot me an email and I'll send it to you!