According to Galatians 6:5, each of us should carry his own load, and for the most part, we do. We live responsibly, work hard, and do without when necessary. We help, serve, and sacrifice to be contributing members of our families, churches, and communities.
On good days—strong, abundant, healthy days—we can carry our burdens and those of our sisters and brothers. It’s the Christian way. The American way. The responsible way. But on other days—days when, as fellow writer and speaker Tammy Whitehurst says, “Life takes a bite out of your heart,” or your health, or your finances, we can’t serve others because we can’t even serve ourselves.
On those days, we must bow our pride to the altar of need and say, “Help.”
In this weak, needy, humble, broken place—we can’t be givers. Or doers. Or servers. We must yield and be served. In God’s infinite wisdom and grace, he’s made provision for this time: Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).
Needing help is a beautiful, awful, pride-less, humble place to be. And it’s a place where we can see God.
We see him in the hands that reach out to help us, the knees that bow to pray for us, the eyes that cry with us, and the easy, gentle words of the savior: “Come, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
We’re taught often and well how to give: generously, cheerfully, enthusiastically, wholeheartedly. We’re not often taught how to receive: graciously, humbly, thankfully.
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees … I know, O lord, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort. Psalm 119:71, 75-76
Whether we’re in a serving time or a time to be served, a giving time or a time to be given to—we can rest in the knowledge that God has made provision, and God is here. We can accept the grace and goodness he offers and commit to glorify him in whatever state we find ourselves.
Join the conversation by adding your comments below!
How have others served you when you couldn’t serve?
by Lori Hatcher
Lori is an author, blogger, and women’s ministry speaker. She shares an empty nest in Columbia, South Carolina, with her ministry and marriage partner, David, and best dog ever, Winston. She’s the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine, and has authored two devotional books. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time . Connect with her on Facebook (Hungry for God), Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or by email (LoriAHatcher@gmail.com).