Today's post is supposed to be #4 in a series on walking low - on learning and practicing humility ... but it's not going to be.
Because here's the deal: I'm not good at pulling up my chair to type out anything except what is fresh on my heart.
And these last two weeks, my heart has been heavy. For whatever reason, God has put me in the path of someone else's pain - actually a hand full of friends - each dealing with a life that is teeming with heartache. Although their stories were all different, there was one common theme: Darkness.
We live in a dark, dark world, my friends. The kind of dark that makes you want to run and hide. Evil dark. Scary, sick, painful dark. The devil is absolutely on the prowl, and the carnage he leaves behind stinks. Steal, kill and destroy - oh yea - that's what he's after.
Last week, after hearing the stories, I didn't do so well with what had been disclosed to me. Carry each other's burdens? Oh I carried them, all right. I carried them home and let them eat at me. It doesn't take long for despair to pull me in.
What does one do when burdens are dumped? After stories have been told? After sin has been exposed? After tears have been shared? How do we carry each other's burdens without getting buried under them?
After doing it wrong first - after walking around in a dark fog for too many days - when I finally realized how desperately I needed Truth - God showed me a better way.
Carry your friend (with their brokenness, heart ache and shame) to the cross. We don't have band aids big enough for the wounds that others carry ... but we know who does. Grab your sweet sister's hand and take her to the cross. Take her to the One whose blood runs wild to cleanse and forgive and heal and make clean. Take her, broken and undone, to the One who saves.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 35:18
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves ... Psalm 68:19-20
Cast your cares. God calls us to cast our cares, so why do we try to carry another's? Like a game of hot potato, as soon as they are placed in your hands, cast them out - or you might get burned. Only God is able.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22
Hold fast to the Light. Although the darkness is great, we have access to the One who is greater. Darkness has no place to hide when exposed to the Light ... And Light always wins. Choose the Light, my friends. Choose Him first and hold on to Him tight. He is our only hope and our only place of refuge in this lost and dying world.
"I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Shine, Jesus, Shine!