Friday, February 18, 2011

Suffering with Jesus by serving with Jesus

Something hit home with me today at work.  One of my co-workers confided in me with an issue that was very burdensome for him.  It has the potential to cause a lot of strife and uncertainty in his relationships and finances.  I listened carefully as he shared this burden with me and them we continued with our work (we are both plumbers).  At the end of the day I couldn't get his problem off my mind.  It was like I was carrying his burden with me even though it didn't directly effect me.  Yet, somehow I hurt with him and needed to pray about it.  As I lifted the burden up I was given a strong desire to wait until my co-worker came out to his vehicle and ask him if I could pray with him.  He gave me permission and then laid out some more details of the things he was worried about most due to this new valley in life.  We prayed together.  Actually, I did all the talking, he mostly cried.  I didn't expect that.

It has been far too long since I have had obeyed the urge to drop what I was doing and pray with someone.  In order to spur many on to do the same I would tell you that it gave me great joy and satisfaction to pray with my friend...but it didn't.  In fact, I felt worse after praying with him.  You know how sometimes people tell you what they are going through and you say "I understand" but we really don't?  Well somehow, I did.  I understood what he was going through.  I felt his pain.  I wanted to make it all go away, say that everything would be okay (and mean it).  But I couldn't.  All I could do was pray that God would take care of it and trust in His faithfulness.  Hopefully our prayer together encouraged him to do the same.

As I have meditated on this today something struck me.  While I was with him, bearing his burden, I felt his pain and suffering.  I was obeying the call to serve him and it brought me suffering.  I had heard and read that obedience and suffering go hand in hand but I always thought about it in terms of persecution and martyrdom. This suffering was neither, this was the everyday ebb and flow of life kind of suffering.  It had nothing to do with me yet it was made mine.  It reminded me of Jesus.  He bears our burdens everyday.  He suffers with us.  He suffers for us.  He does so in service to us.  This is what our King does in His kingdom and we are a part of it.  We are privileged to join Him.  We can suffer with Him by serving with Him.

1 comment:

As in a biblical church gathering, my word is not complete or final. Participation is allowed, encouraged and expected. Please, don't leave without adding something.