The New Testament is filled with admonitions to love one another and to bear one another’s burdens. Indeed, we’re told that first loving Christ and then our neighbor as our self fulfills the whole law.
One of the things I wrote in the ‘about me’ section when I started this blog was about the desire I had to live a life that is fully in line in word and deed with all I said I believed about God…who He is and what He requires of His children.
I’ve become more and more convinced that what we say about forgiveness, about joining in another’s suffering, about life and death and resurrection must be lived out day-to-day in our relationships.
In May Rob and I will celebrate nineteen years of marriage. There is no doubt in my mind that I have been formed and fashioned by God to be his wife. I was made to love him.
I have been, and am being, fashioned to suit him in his sin. Not to share in it with him but to bear with him through it. To suffer the pain of it. But that also means I have been, and am being, fashioned and shaped to share in his repentance and restoration. Just as he is being fashioned and formed to share in my sin, my suffering, repentance, and restoration.
As a parent we experience the same thing with our children. Have you ever not felt the sorrow or pain that comes as a result of sin being brought to light when correcting your child? Proverbs tells us much happiness or much sorrow is bound up in our children and how they walk through life.
We’re also told in Proverbs 17 that a friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity. We are made to walk the hard roads with each other.
We are called to the same fashioning and shaping to one another in every relationship we have to varying degrees of intimacy.
Sometimes the offense will seem too great. The hurt too deep. But God doesn’t have a sliding scale that He allows us to weigh and measure out the sins of others. The good news is that there isn’t one to weigh and measure out your sin either. Because while some sins seem to be bigger and worse than others the truth is that all sin seeks to destroy and all of our sins are an offense before the Righteous One.
Recently, I was present at the birth of my friend’s daughter. Her labor had been moving along when the midwife checked her and said it was time to start pushing. For a moment my friend panicked and said she couldn’t remember what she needed to do, how to push.
All I could do was remind her that she had been made for this. God had formed and fashioned her body to bear this child into the world. Feeling her weakest she was actually at her strongest leaning into the pain and oh, the sweet sweet joy when baby Ruby arrived.
Forgive, even when it hurts beyond more than you think you can bear. Take up the suffering of your spouse, your child, your friend. Help carry their burden. Weep with the ones who weep. Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Your soul was made for such.