So many of my friends have had trouble, sickness, death even in the past few months. I pray for them. I have two elderly aunts who have lost their husbands to death in the past year and they are alone, I pray for them and do what I can physically to help them. I am facing a change in my life that is stretching my faith to its limits, don’t worry I’m not about to share.
I realized I was feeling very depressed and since it isn’t my usual frame of mind, I stopped to think about that. I realized that not only was I was carrying my burdens but the burdens that everyone had, unwittingly, placed on my shoulders.
Is that the way we should react to requests for help from those in need?
Imagine Jesus as He walked along the roads with his disciples, He must have heard the silent cries from those who watched Him walking along, then there were those crying out for Him to touch them, heal them, but the only time we see Jesus react to someone in need in an emotional way, was when He went to pray for Lazarus.
He had told his clueless disciples that Lazarus was sleeping, and they said, “Well, if he’s asleep, then great! He’s doing good!” Jesus had to be blunt with them, “He’s dead“.
Skip to the end of the story; When they removed the stone from the grave, Jesus called in a loud voice “Lazarus, come out!” If He hadn’t called his name, the whole graveyard would have been vacated! The next thing Jesus did is what I think we need to do when those around us are in need and ask for prayer… to me right now, is where we are when people ask us for help and prayer… “And he (Lazarus) came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.”
Now think about this, Jesus raised him from the dead and Lazarus came hopping out, still bound! Jesus asked the friends who were standing around, feeling stunned, to unwrap Lazarus from his grave clothes!
Why didn’t the clothes just fall off of Lazarus when he was called forth?
Jesus gave Lazarus’ friends a job to do, it was to HELP HIM!
Galatians 6:1-3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
Luke 10: Jesus was asked “What do I do to get eternal life?” He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself. Do it and you’ll live.” Looking for a loophole, he asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?” Jesus told them about the man who was beaten and robbed, then ignored by a Priest and a Levite. It was a Samaritan (a people that was looked down on by the Jews) who stopped and helped him, then went the extra mile by putting him in a nice place to stay, paying his bill! “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?” “The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded. Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”
If you are trying to be a good neighbor while taking care of your own problems, what do you do when you begin to feel burdened?
Matthew 11:28-30 Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Remember 1 Peter 5:7, which says: “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”