“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” (2 Cor. 1:8)
Heavenly Father, this is so refreshing, freeing, and important for us to grasp. The Apostle Paul gave seasoned and newbie-believers a huge gift by being quite vulnerable with them. He wasn’t throwing a pity-party, but inviting friends to a Gospel-party. For we fulfill the law of Christ by bearing one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2).
Why is it so hard for us to follow his model, Father? When we get a bit (or a lot) “crushed and overwhelmed,” our first instinct is to conceal it, not share it. We’d rather not burden or bother each other with our weaknesses, than “take our turn on the cot”—the mat on which 4 friends took their paralyzed friend to Jesus (Mark 2:1-12). We’d rather grab one of the 4 corners of the cot—or even climb on top of the house and be a “tile-lifter,” than be helpless and powerless, dependent on the work, prayers, and faith of friends.
Foolishly, we “should and shouldn’t on ourselves.” “I should be able to handle this. I should be over this by now. I shouldn’t bother others with my “stuff” because they have their “stuff” too. I shouldn’t reveal how much of a mess I am because it might discourage them (code language for, “it might embarrass me”).
Hallelujah, you are “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). You comfort us through our friends that we might comfort others, that they might comfort others… on and on the mercy and comfort flow. Here’s to a week of being weak together. Here’s to a week of “faith expressing itself in love” (Gal. 5:6). So Very Amen.