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Friday, November 3, 2017

Take this

Help each other with your troubles. When you do this, you are obeying the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2 ERV)
In other translations you might find "burdens" in place of troubles. Either way, we are to be there for each other - regardless of the burden or the thing that troubles our mind, soul, or spirit. A burden is something that is "carried" - it can be a load, but it can also be what some feel in the sense of what is described as the "onus" to do something or be a certain way. The task some of us are trying to do is more of an obligation than a desire. This may be because someone imposed it upon us, or we committed to something we later would come to regret. The "burdens" we carry can be quite hard for us and God's plan isn't that we remain "under" those burdens - but that we help each other out with them.
Sometimes the greatest "help" we can be is to set someone free from the sense of "obligation" they feel toward something they have committed to do, but which they neither has the joy in doing, or which has become way to hard for them to continue to do any longer. It may be we are helping that individual to realize something much more fulfilling in the long run. That release can turn the tides for the individual who is only "halfway" doing whatever it is they are obliged to do anyway. It can set them free to do something "all the way" with gusto, enjoyment, and a deep sense of fulfillment.
At other times, we need to come alongside an individual burdened down by life and ease the load a little. It doesn't even always have to be that we take the full load, or that we carry it long. Even the slightest relief can make the world of difference in their lives. It renews them enough to continue on. It may be we need to carry that load a little bit longer than we might have imagined, but if we do so with an open heart and in the mercies of God's grace, we find the other individual's need is met and our lives are enriched. 
This is God's plan for "church" - that we come together, share the load, and live in such a way that we are sensitive to the needs of those around us. We open up to the possibility of becoming "burden bearers" for just a little while and in turn, we open up to some of the greatest blessings we could ever imagine. What are those blessings? Well, one would be the cementing of lasting relationship - for each time we open up to bear the burden of another, we are working toward creating bonds that will take us through rough places and deep waters. Just sayin!