Galatians 6:2, Matthew 25:34-40
Can you imagine if you got into a car accident and you were paralyzed from the waist down? Let’s say from the neck down? What if you got a disease that caused you to lose your eyesight? All of those things would be terrible. How would you survive? How would you live? How would you just make it through every single day?
Yet there are many people in our world that have to deal with those sorts of things as part of their everyday life maybe even worse. I’m always quite impressed when I come across such an individual who’s experienced such tragedy or is dealing with so much when it comes to their physical body. And yet they may be a motivational speaker encouraging other people. I often wonder how can they be so positive despite all of these terrible things in their own life?
Well many of them are Christians and cite their faith in Jesus as the reason for their happiness and their ability to make it through each day and to be so positive because they know of God’s love for them. At times God does call upon us to bear burdens in our personal life. I think of the apostle Paul who was afflicted with something that he called a thorn in his flesh. It says in scripture that he actually prayed to God three times for that to be taken away from him. God’s response was this: My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.
He told Paul that he was going to have him endure this burden. He was going to suffer under this affliction in his body. And that’s the way it is for us at times God does allow certain tragedies to happen. He allows us to endure affliction but sometimes the burden we must bear is not our own. It’s rather someone else’s. Apostle Paul also writes in Galatians chapter 6:2 bear the burden of others.
Well, maybe our body is perfectly fine or healthy. Maybe God to send someone in our life whether it’s a newborn baby or whether it’s a parent who’s now in a nursing home, someone who’s undergone some sort of bodily affliction. Rather than saying “well, tough it out.” “I guess they’ll have to make do and survive on their own.” Perhaps God is calling us to bear their burdens, to care for them, even though we ourselves don’t have anything wrong with our body. So maybe calling for us to take care of these individuals.
Think of Jesus words and Matthew chapter 25 as he describes the judgment scene as the king addresses those on his right. Those blessed by the Father. He says this.
For I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was lacking clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’ (Matthew 25:35-36)
Those believers are dumbfounded. Where, when did we do these things? And he responds
‘Amen I tell you: Just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)
Reminds us that as we bear one another’s burdens, as we want to help and to care for other people, that ultimately we do those things for God. We don’t do them to earn heaven. No, those described to Matthew chapter 25 were already blessed by the Father. Children of God. Heirs of eternal life. And yet their response, the response to God’s gift of grace for us in Christ is to want to serve God, especially by serving others and bearing one another’s burdens. Amen.