The Gift Of Leaning

February 4, 1999
by Ruth McCowan

Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

    Charlie Brown was pitching and doing a lousy job. Lucy was giving him grief, as usual. Finally, he could bear the misery and humiliation no longer. In an expression of exasperation that only Charlie Brown could think of, he stood on his head right there on the pitcher's mound. As Lucy's degrading mockery continued, the ever-loyal Snoopy did the unexpected. He walked onto the pitcher's mound and stood on his head beside Charlie Brown, sharing his humiliation.

Dutch Sheets, in his book entitled Intercessory Prayer – How God can use Your Prayers to Move Heaven and Earth, shared the above illustration. As Christians, we are called to "carry each other's burdens". There are many ways we can do this – it may not necessarily mean that we have to go and stand on our head like Snoopy, did but it might!

Dutch gives another analogy of what happens when we "carry each other's burdens". He talks about how a gardener will tie a stake to a tomato plant to sustain it under the weight it carries. The strength of the stake is transferred to the plant and thus "bears it up". In other words, we are to "stake ourselves to one another". We are to come alongside a brother or sister who is "weighed down" and say, "you're not going to fall and be broken or destroyed because I'm staking myself to you. My strength is now yours. Go ahead, lean on me. As long as I can stand, you will."

What a wonderful picture of the Body of Christ. Just imagine what fruit would grow if we learned how to "stake ourselves" to one another.

Prayer: Loving Father, we thank you that by your grace, you have staked yourself to us and that you have carried our burdens. Thank you that you have called us into your great family. Help us to see when our brothers and sisters need a helping hand. Help us to "stake ourselves" to each other and help us to "carry each others burdens" in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author:

Ruth McCowan <rbmccowan@shaw.ca>
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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