Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ
I'm not always great at the long-term. I have alot of enthusiasm about the start-up and the launching of initiatives....it's the sustained, ongoing work that isn't so exciting to me. Seriously, I think Jesus and my marriage are the only 2 things I've successfully continued to be committed to (and there are some seasons where use of the word "successfully" might be a stretch...).
Several years ago at a conference, my friend, Dean, asked about a former student. "I wanted to know how Kacy is doing. I've been praying for her for about 2 years now". Dean met Kacy at a workshop he taught. He met her once. Truth be told, I'm sure he had prayed for my former student more than I had in those 2 years.
Our family has a New Year's Tradition of reflecting on the past year and looking ahead....and looking back on old reflections, I notice for the last 3 years, my goal has been "become a prayer warrior".
I think of a prayer warrior as someone like Dean, who is faithful to prayer for people over the long haul, not forgetting after a week or month, but sustaining people in prayer, bearing with them.
There is a small group at our church that is teaching me alot about bearing. Back in November, a member of their group called and just wanted to let me know that their group had decided to "adopt" our family - - to pray for us, encourage, and bless us. Some consider November to be "Pastor Appreciation Month", and we often receive extra love from people in our church. But our family was so touched and humbled by this group's commitment to us. Sure enough, a few days later someone showed up with a casserole. A week or so later, an encouraging card. Each week a different member of the group cared for us in some way.
But here's the thing.
It didn't stop.
Pastor Appreciation Month came and went. In December we received notes and gifts and requests for specific ways they could be praying for us. Already in January we've heard from group members. It has been so generous, so loving, that a couple of our kids started to get a little concerned.
"Are we poor? Do people feel sorry for us?" "Dad's not dying, is he?"
No, they're just bearing with us.
Due to health reasons, in July my husband transitioned out of his campus minister role of 20 years, and we are still trying to understand what that means for the future. Some days are sad. Many are frustrating. There are moments that are scary. But dishes still have to be washed, tests studied for, and life goes on. Seasons are sometimes long, and it requires bearing things for more than a day or a few weeks. What has blown me away is the faithfulness of our friends and family. This small group has not forgotten. We have wonderful friends who love and encourage us. Family who reach out to us even when we're terrible at reaching out to them. People who are walking alongside us.
Bearing our burdens.
I still want to be a prayer warrior. That's part of bearing someone's burdens. But there are people dealing with things much harder than mine....loss of a spouse, or a friend, or a child. This morning I'm reminded of the people in my life who simply need me to remember the things they're carrying.
Who can you bear with today?