For some years we have been sharing our house with my wife’s parents. Our bungalow was conveniently divided into two parts when we moved in, and we have been living in the ‘granny annexe’, as it is known. Two weeks ago it became necessary due to health issues for the parents to move into our ‘half’ and for us to move into theirs.
We had about 2 day’s notice before we embarked on this big challenge of moving in effect next door. There was no time to arrange for professional help – we just had to start the lifting and carrying ourselves and ask for some friends to come along and assist us. It was further complicated by my wife having a fall as we began and she cracked a bone in her foot and tore some tendons!
Amazingly some very good friends of ours who themselves have very busy lives came and spent several afternoons with us cleaning, carrying, clearing and doing those necessary things like hanging curtains and pictures. We were so blessed to have such willing help. The only condition they made was that there would be a supply of tea to drink and some cake!
I was strongly reminded of our verse for today ‘carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ’. I don’t think that Paul had house moving in mind when he was writing to the Galatians, but he might have done. In the context of Galatians chapter 6, where Paul reminds us about sowing and reaping, there is an overall encouragement for us to do good to those we are in contact with. We might think that Paul was so spiritual always, but he was very practical also. After all he was a tentmaker by profession.
I think Paul was encouraging us all to be practical in our burden carrying for others. Yes we should pray for those in need, standing in prayer against the works of darkness. Yes we should seek to stand together in spiritual warfare. Yes we are intended to help each other along the Christian way in our daily lives. But I feel that Paul would also encourage us to be practical in our support of one another, literally carrying each other’s furniture if the need arises. After all, verse 6 of this chapter tells the reader that those who receive instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor, and that includes tea and cake in my book!
We’re so grateful to our friends who helped us in our time of need. Thank God for all those who come and carry your load when you’re under pressure, who give up their time to be a burden sharer. And be ready for when it’s your turn to offer a bit of practical support to a friend – with or without the tea and cake!
Prayer: O Lord, we’re so blessed by those around us who give their time and energy to help us out in our times of need. Thank You for the selfless sacrifice of those who express their friendship in Christ in such practical ways. May we be always ready to help others in whatever way we can so that we too can fulfil the law of Christ – ‘love one another’. Amen.
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