S185P2 – The work of the brethren: to bear the load

Pro. 17:17

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

It might seem like no big deal now, but at the time it was a huge issue.  My life before Jesus brought consequences to my life after Jesus.  I found myself without a driver’s license for an entire year, and I had no idea how I would manage.  I was very independent, and I do not live in a place with the best public transportation.  My only option was to rely on coworkers, friends and family to join together and each carry a bit of the load as I tried to make it to work, run my errands and fulfill all of my normal responsibilities.  It was during that time that I encountered a surprise in my early faith.  Certain brothers and sisters who I expected would jump at the chance to help me actually disappeared for that year, and it made me question whether I would keep them in my life after that time.

The relationships we have with our brothers and sisters should be different from every other relationship we have.  This relationship comes with a distinct connection, and it is one of the greatest connections that two people can share.  We are part of the body of Christ.  We are to be united in spirit and in purpose.  This means that we are one.  When my brother suffers, I suffer.  When my brother is in need, it is no different than when I am in need.  There is nothing one member of the brethren should suffer alone.  There is no battle any of us should be fighting on our own.  The scriptures tell us that God has made us so that we can be there for one another.  This is not our only purpose, but it is a critical purpose.  It might not always be convenient, and it might not always be pleasant, but the needs of our brothers and sisters must be treated as our own needs.  We must make their adversity as much of a priority as we make our own.

I am sure that each of us has been guilty of ignoring or minimizing what someone else is going through, and deciding not to lend a hand for whatever reason.  I recall that year of need and how helpless and dependent I felt, and it reminds me that someone I know and love might be feeling that helpless right now.  Maybe what they consider adversity is something that would not cause me to bat an eyelash, but it is a big deal to that person.  My role already has been defined by God, and I cannot change that.  If I am indeed a brother, I have been made for the adversity of the brethren.  If I am to honor that role and be faithful to the One who placed me in it, then I must be there during that time of need.  Father, show us who is struggling in the Church, and equip us to help them in their times of adversity.