How to Bear One Another’s Burdens
Our quiet presence during someone else’s time of pain says more than any words of advice ever can. A grieving widow, for example, doesn’t need to hear our own tale of loss; she needs an arm around her shoulder so she realizes that she is not alone.
Think about the times that we bring our burdens before the Lord in prayer. Simply experiencing His presence lightens the weight we have been carrying. God’s response to our pain is a clear demonstration of how important it is to make ourselves available and listen to our neighbors. No matter how inadequate we might feel, we all can share a burden by spending time with a friend who is enduring hardship.
The Holy Spirit will let us know when words are not necessary and when it’s the right moment to speak. That oftentimes becomes our opportunity to share how the Lord has worked in our life during a painful period. When we give the Holy Spirit total control, He will bring to mind situations, emotions, and the ways God helped us. We can use those things to minister to others: Hurting people grab onto kindred stories as if to a lifeline. It gives them hope to reason that since the Lord shepherded one person through a valley of darkness, He will surely be faithful to do the same for another.
Our Spirit-developed compassion may require us to give our burdened neighbor other types of help—even material aid. It’s easy to pray for a friend or share our story with a church member, but we cannot limit ourselves to those things. If we are willing to be used by our heavenly Father, we must be open to His leading about how to offer assistance.
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