Winter’s grey light began to sneak through the window as I sat by her crib holding the thermometer in my hand that read 100.2. My husband was preparing to lead worship next door at our church and wasn’t able to help. I’d barely slept, I hadn’t showered or eaten yet, another child was sick in the next room, and now I was worried about my youngest with medical needs. Hot tears welled up because it all felt like more than I could handle. So as the warmth of the tears stained my cheeks, I prayed and asked the Lord for rest, for help, for healing. He carried me through not only that long day but continues to carry and lead me through each day.
“Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Later that spring, my friend walked into my bedroom, unannounced, and found me standing by my daughter’s crib. She knew I was in a deep season of depression and she often checked in on me, encouraged me, and reminded me I am loved. But this day she handed me a beautiful bright bouquet of spring flowers for Mother’s Day and gave me a hug while telling me that I am a great mother. There was no judgment for the messy house, no wisdom from a seasoned mother, no advice on how to get better, only standing beside me reminding me that I am loved and I am His Beloved.
“Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
God, in all His goodness, is near when we call on Him. He is patient and listens to our prayers and is steadfast in His love for us. He could easily be the only One who is near. But in His greatness, His Holy Spirit is within those He loves and He gently asks them to walk alongside others in their burdens. He allows us to cast our burdens on Him, while at the same time raising up others to help carry those burdens alongside us.
We are never alone.
And in time, it’s our turn to pass on that blessing and help carry someone else’s burdens. Maybe it’s simply bringing over coffee and listening to them. Perhaps it’s running errands for them, or providing childcare. Maybe it’s sitting with them through a loved one’s surgery. Being with others in their afflictions often means walking outside of our comfort zones. But isn’t that what Christ did for us? He left His throne and took on flesh. He served instead of being served. He died for our sin. The Son of Man set aside all of His own comfort to comfort us.
The beauty of this kind of love is that it is continuously blessing others. We are blessed to receive and blessed to give. Sometimes the beauty born out of suffering is the image of hope from Jesus through others who have walked with us through our brokenness.
“Father, thank You, for being near, for being our refuge, and for the shadow of Your wings that covers us in our times of distress. You bring peace that surpasses all understanding. For that we give You thanks. Jesus, help us to know what other cares we have that we need to lay at Your feet, that we may stop carrying this load alone. Grant us, Lord, the wisdom to know when to come alongside others, that we can help lift the load that they are carrying as well. That we could love on them with the same love You pour out for us. Amen.”
Jodie Gerling is wife to a worship leader, mama to three kiddos, and a creative soul who thrives on coffee, watercolor paints, and intentional storytelling. She loves to write devotionals to encourage other weary mamas in the Lord, advocate for special needs, and often shares her paintings and daily musings from motherhood (or at least encourage you to switch out the laundry) on her Instagram @Finding_Thanks . You can find her paintings, book projects, and more online at her website www.jodiegerlingwrites.wordpress.com.
Connect with Jodie:
Instagram Paintings: @jg_writes_and_paints
Pinterest: Jodie Gerling / FindingThanks
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