“Share each other’s burdens…” Galatians 6:2a (NLT)There are times all of us find ourselves in the trenches in life — those deep places we can’t seem to climb our way out of.
Sometimes those places involve decisions of our own, where we made a conscious choice to do something that wound up hurting us. Other times, someone made a decision for us that put us there, without our permission.
Either way, there is a great need — a need for someone to understand, someone to listen, someone to be available for us, to grieve with us and cry with us — no matter how dark it may get.
I’ve been in the trenches at different times in my own life. I found myself there when I was in college and my pastor-father was facing potential prison. I wound up there, again, when I partied hard to numb the pain, causing even more for myself. Years later, I found myself in a trench when my husband lost his job and was out of work for an extended period of time.
It was in those moments that I longed for someone to say to me, “I’m here with you. I won’t leave you. You will get through this, and I will love you no matter what.” Because at the end of the day, all of us want to know that there is someone who won’t walk away from us, even when they see how ugly things can get in our biggest moments of struggle.
It is the mark of a true friend. It is a rare find.
I once heard a speaker say how in her community, it was not unusual for people to sit with one another for up to seven days during times of loss and grief. As I listened to her speak, I thought about how amazing and important that aspect of community could be to us in our greatest moments of pain — those moments we find ourselves in a deep trench from which we won’t easily emerge.
Our key verse refers to this beautiful aspect of friendship when it says, simply, “Share each other’s burdens…” For the believer, this is not a suggestion. It is something Jesus expects us to do as we represent Him.
One of the best ways we spread the love of Christ is through our selfless acts of love and serving another. It’s not easy to share in someone’s burden, especially when that burden is great. But it is right. It is good. It is what Jesus does for us.
Many of us have been in the trenches, so we understand this hard position. It is where some of us are even now. Some of the greatest ministry Jesus will ever do in our lives is when we find ourselves in a place we can’t maneuver, claw, or dig our way out of. It is the place He meets us because our desperation finally drives us to Him — a place we most need to be.
Friends, let’s keep our eyes and ears open for the opportunity to get in the trenches and share in the burdens of another. Let’s be willing to be there with our friends who find themselves in a position they don’t want to handle alone. Let’s remember the One who is always present in the trenches with us.
And let’s thank Him for His care, presence and faithfulness in the midst of our needs…the trench moments of our life.
My friend Linsey sent this to me and all I can say is thank you. As I was reading it today and I sat in tears. So thankful for the friendship that He has blessed me with. A wise man once told me--"don't let that friendship go--you never know when you'll need each other." How true. Today Linsey--I say thank you for being one of the best friends I have ever had! You are a blessing to me and to my family.