Do you ever wonder how much help you should offer those who go from crisis to crisis? After all, Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Does that mean I’m to rescue someone repeatedly? As I pondered this verse, I remembered a time when a friend was in financial trouble—again. I could help, but I wanted her to see God as her Provider instead of running to me first. However, I also didn’t want to ignore her situation. So I continued to pray and read Scripture, wondering if I should offer help.
The following Sunday morning, those thoughts were heavy as I entered my usual row at church. In the quiet moments before the service, I glanced around, taking mental roll. My friends Larry and Mary Ellen were sitting behind the elderly gentleman I’ll call Mr. Smith. The dear man was becoming increasingly feeble, but he insisted he would be in church as long as the Lord allowed. So every Sunday, we marveled at his determination—and held our breath each time he pulled himself to his feet.
On this particular morning, Mr. Smith trembled as he stood for a hymn. At the close, he wobbled as he backed toward his chair. Immediately, Larry’s arms were at his shoulders, not touching him, but ready. Mr. Smith made it safely—and hadn’t known Larry was ready to catch him.
I smiled, realizing I had witnessed how I should respond to my friend. I wasn’t to rush in and solve her problems, but I was to be ready to help—if needed. That settled, I sang the next hymn with even greater enthusiasm.
How about you? What have you learned about helping?