The other day, I was on the phone with a friend, who just delivered a baby girl. They should’ve been home by now with their new bundle of joy, but there were complications with the baby’s breathing. My friend was crying to me over the phone. Her husband was going back and forth to the hospital because they have two other children to care for. Some friends were able to watch the kids, but not for an extended amount of time, and it looked to them that they were going to have to be at the hospital for an extended amount of time. They have no close family members around, who they can lean on for help. I took a big gulp and said, “If you need help with the kids, we can take them.” My husband, just in the next room, overheard me and called out, “I’m already picking up their kids.” I didn’t realize that my husband had already offered this family our help.
That’s just like my husband, though. He is extremely kind and giving. He notices immediately when someone has a need, and if he is able to, offers his help without hesitation. I, on the other hand, am not quite as spontaneous a giver as he is. I’m a planner, so if something comes up unexpectedly, I will try to go around it in order to stick to my plans. So, I realize how selfish I can be. I want to stay in my own little bubble, and tell myself that I just don’t have time for the rest of the world. Thoughts like these travel through my mind. “There’s enough trouble in my own life. Why complicate things?” “Someone else can meet those needs. It doesn’t have to be me.” “I’m a mom of a child with special needs. Shouldn’t I be the one getting help?”
Proverbs 3:27-28 addresses this wrong thinking, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it’ – when you have it with you.”
And here’s another one, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)
And one more, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)
Perhaps you have experienced this internal struggle that I described in the story above. It can be a real temptation when we are carrying heavy burdens of our own to turn the other way when we see others in need of help. It’s not that we don’t care, but we may feel as if our packs are too full already, and adding more weight would make it impossible for us to carry them. But, when we cast our cares on Christ, He has promised us, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). So let us trade in our wearisome loads for the easy yoke of Christ, and we will not think twice about bearing another’s burdens.
(Photo credit: Papa Goiaba)