Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NASB)
My friend Suzanne recently wrote about a person she encountered having the
I had many talks with myself and with God in the midst of these days of uncertainty and fear. As I sat on the needy chair I told myself truth, reminded myself of God's sovereignty, prayed for my concerns, and did the things I needed to do. One of the conversations I had with myself was about the seriousness of the trial and my reaction to it. Was I overreacting to my dog's ailment? What would my response be if someone came to me with their own dog story? Would I want to discount it as not important and tell them (essentially) to get over it?
Many of my friends consistently asked me how my little Buddy was doing. And at first I was tempted to say it didn't matter in the face of one friend who has cancer, and another friend who lost her husband, and another friend whose husband left her, and another friend whose child is struggling. How can my sick little doggie matter in the face of such great suffering?
But it does matter.
All problems, big and small matter. So often it seems we want to "one up" each other with the trials and difficulties that we have going on in our own lives that we don't to take the time to stop and listen to the heartache that is emanating from the other person about a problem or circumstance that is of tremendous importance to them. We should not weigh the problems and burdens of other people and judge who is burdens are worthy of interest and prayer and whose are not. I do not think that glorifies God when we do that.
This life is hard!
I want to be clear that just because you might not be dodging bombs, or your spouse has not committed adultery, or your kids are not rebellious, or your job is great, that does not invalidate the trials and struggles that you are having today. Just because your problems are not as bad as my problems doesn't mean that your problems aren't problems. It does not invalidate the fact that you have issues and situations that cause you great pain or discomfort.
Your problems do matter!
First, they matter to you. There are things in your life that are disturbing your peace and your serenity. There are things in your life they're not going exactly as you had planned and they are causing you difficulty.
Second, they matter to those around you or, they ought to! If you find your friends or people who call you friend are too busy to listen to you lament and to offer biblical solutions, then they might possibly not be very good friends.
Third and by no means least, your problems and your trials and your situations matter to God! He loves you! He cares about you! He is in the middle of your trials and problems with you! He knows you better than anyone in the whole world, he knows every hair on you her head and you are important to Him. Because you are in Christ you have an incredibly high value to God.
I want you to know that God is working through your trials and circumstances. He is working in the little things as well as the big things. He cares when you miss the bus and He cares when you are denied a promotion. He cares when a friend is cruel or indifferent to you. He will never be indifferent to you.
If you have a friend whose trial is not as great as yours is right now, whose suffering is not as deep as yours is right now, don't belittle their suffering. Don't minimize it in the face of your own.
Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
God cares about your sister in Christ as much as he cares about you. Be a listening ear, and listen with the intent to support, to possibly teach, possibly rebuke, possibly instruct in righteousness. I am not suggesting you entertain gossip or slander, but I am encouraging you to come alongside your hurting sister in Christ, even in the midst of your own suffering and sorrow. Second Corinthians chapter 1 tells us that God will comfort us so that we will comfort others.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NASB)
Listen again, just because my problems are not as catastrophic as your problems are does not mean that my problems don't matter. There should not be a ratings scale when it comes to bearing one another's burdens. We should not decide who's burdens are heavier or way more than others and compare ourselves and our sorrows as though we are judging who needs support and who does not.
So how are you doing in this? How are you doing at being a comforter? How are you doing at bearing and encouraging her? Maybe it's time to examine yourself, and see if you are indeed sharing caring and bearing one another's burdens. You matter to God! And you should matter to other people in your life that are around you.