Carrying Other’s Burdens

I trust you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  But today is for those who did not have a good holiday for one reason or another. To those who had no family and friends to surround them; those who were far away from home; those who were working or in harm’s way, our policemen and women, our firefighters, our medical workers, those who sacrifice time with their families, for the welfare of others. And today I would like to dedicate this journey to those whose bodies have been insulted by injury or infection. They had a hard time being thankful because of pain and discomfort.  I know you all know someone like that. Perhaps you visited them at Thanksgiving or talked to them on the phone. They may have been too far away to visit. I pray for those like Frank, who is in ICU at this time, struggling, fighting for one more day to stay with family. Scripture tells us this: “Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2  James also writes this: “Is anyone among you suffering?  He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. James 5: 13-16   Every time I read this, I have to humble myself before the Lord, because I know that my faith could be stronger.  I trust the Lord with all my heart, but I want to love Him and trust Him for who He is, and not for what He does or does not do for me. But is that faith working or a copout for not being strong enough in my faith to expect the sick one to be healed when I pray? I wished my prayers were more effective. But doesn’t scripture say that they are? The prayers of the righteous person are powerful! Does that mean that my righteousness is lacking? I search my heart for the answer, and the Spirit tells me that I have taken Jesus for granted in many ways. I have gotten comfortable in my faith, and like a sheep, I probably stray away from the presence of the Lord, unconscious, unknowing that I am entering places where I am not to go.  But even if my faith is lacking enough to heal another, I will put my hope in Christ. With whatever grain of mustard seed that I can bring forward, I will hope, and I will continue to pray for those the Lord puts before me.   I know that within myself, I am weak, but I know that the Lord can take this weakened vessel and make it into what He wants it to be. And even though my faith might not be as strong as I would like it to be, I will still pray, I will still place the burden that my brothers and sisters bear before our Almighty God.  Please join me in emptying ourselves before the Lord today on behalf of another who sits in pain and suffering, especially of the family of God, for they are our brothers and sisters, and we are to carry their burdens. Pastor Andy 

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