“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. ” Recent events have brought this verse to me several times the past few days. I decided to write what was on my heart rather than my normal weekly update.
Several times in my life saw my family going through different valleys. As I look back at those terribly hard times I always feel the same thing. I feel the absolute love and support of a group of friends that I can never describe. The group of friends that has become family to us. The group of friends that never left us in the darkest valleys.
They were there when my dad was expelled and moved away from home. They thanked God for bringing him home to us later. They worried with us when he had his brain aneurysm and held us as we told him goodbye. They rejoiced as we spread the news of the miracle that God had worked in dads life through the aneurysm. They sat many times at our table for evenings of friendship and food. They wept with us through the long long day when Dad died. They held us as we said goodbye and carefully sealed off part of our hearts. They carried us through each valley with love and prayer and understanding hearts. There was never a time that this special group of family deserted us. They didn’t judge us for his actions. They didn’t disown us and leave. And if they did judge him for what he’d done, they did it silently. Our support group never left us.
It has become a burden to me this week as I think of our failings and shortcomings. The last part of verse 1 is so important; “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” If we haven’t been in the different situations we hear of, it’s easy to say “oh I would never do that!” Or “well they aren’t welcome at our weekly suppers anymore!” It is tempting to feel superior because YOUR family hasn’t stumbled in that area or it is easy to cast blame on the situation. If all members of our congregation would have treated us with that spirit, (and some did, believe me) I can say with certainty that I would not be a part of this church today. The support and encouragement of our friends helped my family see hope. They helped us know that everything was going to be ok no matter the outcome because they were standing behind us to help. The song “There Go I” has been close to me all week. The chorus “without God’s mercy and love daily sent from above, the most wretched of sinners would be I.” How true for each one of us. Only by God’s grace am I not in a similar situation to those around me. Please. Find love for those in any situation. Be the struggling person’s support group. We as Christians are here to bear each other’s burdens and help one another get to Heaven.