“No man is an island, entire of itself.”
This quote from John Donne has resonated with me after I saw it in the movie About a Boy many years ago. You see, I love to write, but I’m not much on reading so movies and I are the best of friends. It’s funny though the meaning that something can have when you are bumping along in life alone, without a relationship with God, and then the revelation is has after you are found by The Lord. I used to think that this was all about the lives we build together and the way we let people into our hearts. This is part of it maybe, but when I read it now I think that it is so much more about sharing each other’s burdens and encouraging one another in love. It’s not so much referring to the relationships we have for our own sake but more for the sake of sharing the Glory and Love of God.
Can you imagine floating along in this world all by yourself? I ask that question knowing that someone reading this feels that they are. But you’re not. We are all here together and it is not by chance or without purpose. You’re not meant to do this alone. God did not create us to keep everything to ourselves. We are meant to share things. When facing a hard time, the first response should always be to take it to God. Pray and seek His Wisdom. Then, confide in someone you trust and allow them to share in your burden. We don’t need to push it under the rug and act like everything is perfect. I think that is a stigma that as Christians we sometimes fall victim to, thinking that we have to have the all of the answers or act a certain way. We are not perfect, and we can’t be. What we can be though is real. And I think that we owe that to each other. Grinning and bearing it isn’t helping anyone. Be honest with your friends, your sisters, and yourself.
I can picture God looking down on us seeing it as an ongoing distance race, where we are passing the torch to each other as we reach the end of each leg of the journey. We wouldn’t be able to run the full track alone. But with the help of our Father fueling the flame, and the help of our friends taking the torch as we pass it just when we think we can’t run another step, we can go the distance. In some seasons of your life you may feel like you could run and run as far as you can see, like an eagle soaring so effortlessly. Other times, you will feel like you can’t even start the race, and your knees are weak with defeat. That is exactly why He has put us here together. The abilities and gifts that He has put inside each of us are different, but when shared with each other they fill in the spots that are lacking. His yoke is easy and His burden is light, and if we encourage and love on each other we can become closer to His likeness.
When your friends are hurting, and you don’t know how to help, sometimes it seems so easy to wallow with them. And often there is no real answer that you can offer to their problem. Listen anyway. Pray with them. I know it can be scary and uncomfortable sometimes to pray out loud with someone for the first time, but you can’t possibly know the impact it will have on them until you do it. When you take the time to lift them up and point them to God, the Glory and results are all His, and HE WILL SHOW UP. It also builds the relationship with your friend because you are sharing your heart in a way that cannot be done otherwise.
Be bold lovely.
Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.