Have you watched a friend go through the dry and crusted valley? Have you seen a family member hurt? Have you had a friend tell you of a struggle that they could barely breathe out?
If you have, you know how difficult it can be to stay faithful. I don’t mean faithful to your friend but faithful to their pain. We would like to set a timer on the burdens we bear for others. Perhaps, because we don’t think it’s fair how long we have had to bear our own. But we need to remember how love really works.
Love says, “Your dancing is my dancing and your crippled fear is mine too.”
Love says, “I’m hoping with you and I’ll bear the weight as long as you do.”
It’s hard to let others demand things from our hearts. It doesn’t seem fair at times to let a friend still struggling with loss after “all these years” make us fast, and weep, and pray. And the inverse is just as hard. It doesn’t seem right to celebrate with a friend who finally was able to have a child as we go through the pain of another broken week.
Why should we dance when we have our own wounds to attend to?
Why should we mourn when we would rather raise our glasses to our own success this year?
Because we’re not independent. We’re not just individuals but “individuals of one body” (Romans 12:15).
I know this is hard in a culture and church that can say otherwise. We’re constantly being told you can and you should do it on your own.
Yet, we’re all branches connected to one Root.
We’re all thirsty for one river and one Spirit.
We’re all hungry for bread that only He can break and wine that only He can pour.
So, friends, let’s remember the freedom in not being isolated. We are not just individuals. We are members of a body and there is freedom here. We are allowed to act outside of our own impulses, our own needs and our own affections. Christ’s blood let’s us love in a way that is Holy.
And this is a gift: that we can lay down our lives and know Who will lift us up.