"It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confidence of their help." (Epicurus) Isn't it wonderful to have another to come alongside, lending that sense of confidence when ours seems to wane? It is as though they see the wind in our sail just diminish, our forward movement begin to cease, and our burden beginning to bog us down to the place we cannot make another step. As scripture so aptly points out, we all have a burden to bear and our own story to write - we cannot live life for another. Yet, we can come alongside and help one who is struggling, so they might be bolstered by the confidence we can instill in that moment when theirs is far from them!
Each person has his or her own burden to bear and story to write. (Galatians 6:5 VOICE)
We don't always have to possess the answer to someone's troubles to be of support to them. I think people sometimes forget the powerful influence of just being a listening ear - comfortable to remain silent, not needing to answer every question or postulate an opinion on the matter. You and I are not called to "write the pages" of another's story, but we might just lend them the courage to write what needs to be written, but seems a little too overwhelming to them right now!
Paul is writing to the Galatian church about the need to never let one fall into the snare of sin and just stand idly by watching while he or she self-destructs in the process. When one gives into sin we can either watch them take that path, condemning them as they go, or we can come alongside and lend the support they need to find their way out of that pit again. It doesn't mean we become the means by which they escape the snare of sin, but we do show them they aren't without hand reaching for them.
Oftentimes all we need is that assurance we are not walking alone - even when we slip into some temptation we didn't plan on giving into. Pete Carroll is a professional football coach. He is quoted as saying, "Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen." A little nudge - a slight pointing of direction, not so much in words as in actions - this is the support many need in order to take action which points their sail into the wind again.
We all give and get in this world - some give way more, looking as though they "get" very little in the end. I'd like to challenge that this morning, because not everything we "get" in life is what others will see or appreciate we have received. There is something about "getting" we may not realize at first - it isn't always about what we can hold - it may be equally as much in what we can give away! Just sayin!