May 26, 2013

Stoop Down and Reach Out

Galatians 6:2

Bear (endure, carry) one another's burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it]  (The Amplified Bible). 

Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law (The Message).

One day as I read this verse, the Lord showed me how I immediately think of those who are troubled by specific circumstances in their life – no job, recently lost a loved one, sick, car troubles, problem children, etc.   I have offered financial help, prayed for them, counselled them.  I've invested my time and given them my support. 

But how often do I “stoop down and reach out” to those with “troublesome moral faults” vs judging them for their struggles? 

We all have those people in our lives - those who we don’t understand how they can keep struggling with the same thing over and over again.  That's because we never try to get behind what’s on the surface – we try to “fix” them on the outside, and when they don’t respond how we expect them to we hold them at fault and give up on them.  In essence, instead of a hand up and out, we use our fist and pound them deeper down into the ground.
The “law of Christ” is to love one another as Jesus loves us.  One of the most powerful visions I’ve had illustrates how I believe Jesus wants us to “bear one another’s burdens”.  I was hurting and in the midst of a sea of “muck”, holding on to something I just couldn’t let go of.  I knew the Lord wanted it and I truly wanted to give it to him. 

But I was so weary from the struggle of holding on to it for so long that I couldn’t get myself up to go to Him. 

As I sat there unable to move, He walked slowly toward me and sat down in the muck with me.  He gently put His arm around me, sat with me for as long as it took, and then helped me up and walked with me out of the muck.  He went at my pace, and let me lean on Him all the way.

Can we not do the same for each other?  I need to allow the Lord to lead me to those who need my help, and then choose to get involved in their lives and sit in the muck with them for as long as it takes.  Commit to seeing them through. 
Jesus never gives up on us, and He gives us all we need to do the same for others He brings to us. 
Who is the Lord asking YOU to "stoop down and reach out" to today?

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