I have been reading a book by Joel Beeke entitled, ‘Walking as He Walked,’ which is teaching me afresh what is means to be a disciple of Christ in my everyday life.  It very vividly and accurately describes the life Christ when he was here on earth, as well as what he is now doing for us in heaven.  There was one section which particularly moved me called, ‘Christ’s Cross-Bearing and Ours.’  After reading about Christ’s tears of blood shed in the garden, his betrayal by Judas, being forsaken by all of the disciples, and later completely denied by Peter, falsely accused and condemned, whipped and mocked, we read of Christ bearing his cross alone to the place where he would die an undeserving death.

It struck me that in his hour of greatest need he had no one to speak an encouraging word to him to help him through his sufferings.  I had also been feeling in need of an encouraging word.  In our modern day of blogs and facebook, it often seems that no one speaks face to face anymore.  Old friends begin to seem so distant.  I’m sure that everyone has gone through some difficult time in their life and just wished that some one would come along a give them a simple word of encouragement.  Sometimes a small act of kindness or a word in season can mean so much to a suffering friend, who feels as if they are carrying their cross alone.

I came to the conclusion that some of my friends were most likely feeling the same way.  I felt that I couldn’t really expect to hear these words of encouragement  if , I myself, wasn’t distributing any.  The Lord laid it upon my heart to send a simple e-mail to a friend that I had reason to believe was in need of such a word of encouragement.  I just wanted to let her know that I had truly missed her fellowship in her absence and that she and her family were in our prayers.  The  Lord sure did bless this simple act of kindness.  It was truly an encouragement to me to hear her telling me that she had really appreciated it and that it had come at just the right time.  And so we both received an encouraging word, one from another, and were able to help each other to bear one another’s burdens’.  And the burdens seem so much lighter when they are carried together.  In fact, sometimes it is hard to remember at all that the burden is there, when it is carried with the fellowship of a good friend.

I have heard several people quote the verse lately, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.”  I am glad that Christ gave us this example of cross-bearing, and that he always helps us to carry our burdens.  I am also blessed that he showed me the temptation to focus so much on myself during these difficult times in my life, and that he taught me to look around and take notice of the needs of others.

“A friend loveth at all times.”  How blessed we are to have the King of Kings as ‘our friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’  I hope that you will speak a word of encouragement to someone today.

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