I identified something last night, something previously unidentified yet still weighing on me. I mulled over it in my mind and poured it out to the Lord in prayer, but still it weighed on me. Then I spoke it out loud to Doug. Somehow verbalizing it made a difference. Admitting it to another person. He had no answer, and I think he knew I did not expect it of him. But it still helped me just to share it with him.
The United States was built on the concept of rugged individualism. We can do it ourselves! We are pioneers, the people who forge ahead into previously uncharted territory! That mentality has become ingrained in the very DNA of Americans.
Unfortunately, that includes Christians. That includes me.
I do not in any way desire to deny the truth that Christ is sufficient for us. If we had nothing but Him, we would still have everything! But throughout Scripture, God reminds us that He created us to need each other as well. Although we must be careful to not put one another in the role and place only He can fill in our lives, we have to realize that we sin when we push fellow believers out of our lives. When we bear our burdens – and our joys – alone.
I tend to forget that, and I bear my struggles and questions alone. I bare my soul to the Lord freely, but it’s almost as if I am afraid to let other people see my struggles. I think sometimes God withholds His answer because He wants me to overcome my pride and open up to people around me.
When we share our burdens, we know we do not suffer alone on this earth.
When we share our battles, we learn that we do not fight in a one-man army.
When we share our struggles, we become real to the fellow believers who watch us live out our faith.
There is a reason God gave us this command:
I can become hardened by the lie that my prayers will never be answered when I hole myself up, pray alone, and tell no one when I am discouraged.
You can become hardened when you look at me and think that I never struggle in my faith simply because I never share any struggles with you.
We can all become hardened when we live as if we stand alone in the fight, refusing to surround ourselves with the strength that comes from the bond of many.
I need that encouragement, day after day. But if I never show my need to fellow believers, they will never know how to offer me encouragement. If they never share with me, I will not know how to encourage them either. We will continue to stand as rugged individuals, determined to be sole pioneers in the walk of faith.
Good is good. His ways and will are perfect. And He designed us to be strengthened by one another. May we do so today!