9/11 - Carrying one another’s burdens
Each September all over our country there are still candles lit, memorial services held, and special events in memory of the horrible loss at the hand of terrorists 20 years ago. One of the miracles that came out of this tragedy was the way people came together. Social and political walls came crashing down, flags were being waved in our streets and at businesses, Democrats and Republicans prayed and sang together in Washington. Never in my lifetime have I seen such demonstrations of empathy and unity.
A loss as horrible as 9/11 serves as a permanent reminder that we can’t face life’s tragedies alone. God wired us to need each other, and we’re to help each other carry the heavy burdens of life -- a terrible loss, a crushing circumstance, a painful diagnosis.
Galatians 6:2 (NKJV) “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
According to Paul in Galatians 6:2, our support of one another must go beyond a mere awareness of the problem. We’re to get sweaty and messy as we help others face burdens that threaten to overwhelm and destroy them. The sense of Paul’s wording is that the burden we’re helping to lift is similar to the pressing weight of the cross on the shoulders of Jesus as he struggled toward Golgotha (John 19:17).
Like Simon, from Cyrene, who shouldered the heavy wooden cross with Jesus (Mark 15:21), we’re to step in with support for our friends, even if that means carrying their burden for a while.
In the shadow of 9/11, we see more clearly our need to face any tragedy by standing shoulder-to-shoulder.
Here are a few foundational principles to help us face hardships together:
Open your hearts to God.
Psalm 34:18 says: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Focus on true value.
A crisis often helps us clarify our values -- revealing what really matters.
Lean on Jesus.
I Peter 5:7 Cast your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Trust God’s hand.
Psalm 46:2 (NCV) “God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid even if the earth shakes, or the mountains fall into the sea.”