Well, he did it again. I don’t think anyone saw it, but since I’m telling the Internet world now, it will no longer be my secret.
My little brother made me cry in church.
No, it wasn’t from kicking me under the pew or jabbing me in the ribs.
It was more like a jab to the heart.
To those of you who’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know my brother Jim is my pastor. And his wife Christie is one of my very best friends.
Sadly, Christie suffers from a painful disease and is unable to leave her bed or wheelchair most days. She battles her illness bravely, inspiring us with her fighting spirit. At times, Jim will give us a glimpse into her daily struggles.
Last week during a sermon on spiritual growth, my brother presented an aspect of growth that is seldom mentioned:
One of the reasons we need to let God grow us spiritually is because in the future, someone else may need the strength we possess.
Yes, we are called to grow strong in faith for ourselves, but it’s not just for us. Many times, there is someone else that will desperately need our strength as well.
As he so often does, Jim told us a story to illustrate this truth. One of the things Christie battles is seizures. They take control of her body, putting her in a dangerous situation.
A situation she isn’t strong enough to get out of.
A situation that could injure her or even take her life.
And she needs the strength of her husband to survive.
She needs him to hold her in his strong arms until her body stops convulsing. She needs him to keep her safe until the danger passes. She needs his strength in her moments of vulnerability and weakness.
I’ve seen my brother hold his wife through a seizure. And remembering brought tears to my eyes, sitting there in church.
But it was the perfect picture of one Christian holding up another in times of weakness. It gave renewed purpose to my pursuit of God.
Yes, I want to grow closer to God for myself. I’ve been through some heart-shattering storms, and I know that a faith deeply rooted in God was all that got me through.
But what about my children? They will face their own storms one day, and will I have the strength to help them through? And my friends and family? They most certainly will walk roads of grief and heartache. Will I be strong enough to help sustain them in those dark days?
Child of God, stay relentless in your daily pursuit of God. Sink your roots deeply into His Word and spend much time in prayer. Every day, make an effort to grow in stronger in your faith.
For one day soon, someone dear to you might need you to hold them up while the storm rages around them. In that moment, they will need you to be strong for them.
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)