Bearing One Another's Burdens by Overcoming Fear

One time when my son was young, he had a good friend whose father passed away. I wasn't super good friends with the wife of this man. It was one of those relationships where your kids are really good friends and so you interact because of our children, but don’t really hang out outside of that. I really loved this mother of my son's friend, but I still didn't know her that well.
I was brokenhearted when I heard this news and didn’t know what to say or do. I remember wanting to call her, but I did not know what to say. I was scared I would say the wrong thing. So I knelt down to pray and I asked the Lord to help me know what to say and to give me the courage to make this phone call. As I got up, I felt the push, “just do it, Monica, just call.” So I did, I picked up the phone and I called and was honestly relieved when it went to voicemail, but I went ahead and left a message. 
I didn't have a chance to talk to the wife at the funeral but it was a couple months later when I ran into this mother at the grocery store. While talking, she told me, “Monica, I'm sorry that I never returned your phone call.” And of course, I never expected a return phone call, but she went on to say, “I want you to know that I did hear the message when you called me that day and I just want you to know how much it meant to me. You know, you were the only person that called me besides my parents the day that he died.” 
I was frozen, I didn't know what to think. I was just so shocked that she said I was the only person that called. Please don't think that I’m trying to pat myself on the back. There's been so many times that I didn't have the courage to call people when I should have called them. This is one time that I did call and I was so close to not calling her that day. 
It was over the next several weeks, as I ran across a couple of people that knew her, that it dawned on me why no one called her. They didn't call her for the same reason I didn't want to call her, because we were scared. Scared to say the wrong thing and didn't know what to say.
That experience taught me such a valuable lesson. Now I had this motto that says, just do it. I had it before Nike had it and should have trademarked it. Just call, just say it, just apologize, just don't wait.
Just do it.
So often we hesitate when we're feeling like we should do something, we let fear get the best of us. If I didn't call her that day, it wouldn't be because I was afraid of anything that she would do. I was afraid for myself. I was afraid that it would be hard or that I would say the wrong thing. So often our fear comes from trying to protect ourselves, but the Lord wants us to be vulnerable, have faith, and to trust in him so that when we are on his errand, we have his support.
It takes faith that when we do what we know is right or when we go forward when we know something is good, even though it's difficult, then that is when we're on the Lord's errand.
I just want to leave you with an invitation to consider the different ways that we can bear one another's burdens. How we can help one another to ease the things that we're all carrying. 

I think one of the best things we can do is, in our morning prayers, ask the Lord to help us know today who needs our help. What burdens do we need to help carry today? I know that when we do that, more often than not, throughout the day we will get a thought of somebody that we need to reach out to. Maybe someone that we need to call or maybe someone in the grocery store that we need to give an extra big smile. Those ways are ways that we can carry one another's burdens.

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