Who is it that you seek out in those times that you need comfort, the days that you just want someone to listen, to be there for you. Now I know, somewhere in your mind you’re thinking what the correct answer is supposed to be, a part of some of you is thinking “I’m supposed to say Jesus,” and I hope that is true, but was He really the first one to come into your mind?
He is of course the great physician, (Mark 2:17) the only One who can truly heal every aspect of our pain and suffering, but there is one small problem here, and I mean it in no disrespectful way, but He doesn’t speak back to us, at least not in the way that we can audibly hear, He isn’t here to give us a hug, to hold our hand, to just be there with us. That is why many of you thought of your loving spouse, perhaps a parent or very close personal friend first, and not of our Lord, and right now some of you are feeling bad about that. We have, as it were, a dilemma here, we know who we are to run to, who we are to seek comfort from, but we rarely do so, friends and family are at hand, brothers and sisters in Christ are just a phone call away, and they are “real,” for lack of a better term, they are in the physical and not the spiritual.
There is absolutely no offence to our Lord when we seek out these individuals, it is one of the reasons God has placed them in our lives, it is why He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” (Gen. 2:18) Have you ever given any thought to these two items at the same time, Adam had Almighty God, the creator of all reality at his side, and He says it’s not good for Adam to be alone. Our Lord is wise beyond anything that even all of eternity will allow us to comprehend. These people that you seek out in those times are in your life for a reason, nothing happens in the life of the believer unless God says so, and so when you need someone, they are a blessing.
There is that one thing though, if they do not know Christ as Lord, while they may still be able to assist you in these times of personal need, their advice and consolations will be of no eternal value, it may help now, but not later. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2) Here is the help we are looking for, we are to seek Christ in these times, and that answer that you thought that you were supposed to give in the beginning of this letter to you was the correct one, you may have just looked at it in a skewed way. Every child of God is to have the mind of Christ, (1 Cor. 2:16) we are to be holy, (1 Peter 1:16) we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, (James 2:8) we are to be Christlike. When these times come upon you, you should seek the Lord of course, first in prayer and supplication, but then you are to reach out to Him in the physical realm, you are to go to your brother or sister in Christ and ask them to help you to carry this burden.
The Sovereign Lord was right there, standing right beside Adam, and yet He made Eve. Our first inclination in these moments is to get in touch with our pastor, and while this may be appropriate at certain times, is there no one that you know that can stand in his place, and I do not mean a deacon, elder or whatever terminology your church may use, what we are speaking of is a spiritually mature individual that is always available, who is always just a stone’s throw away. We are to be Christ-like, this is not just a title that has been reserved for the hierarchy of the assembly, it means every single person sitting in those pews, it means every Christian on this planet, it means you. This does not mean that you are going to be available every moment of the day or night, the brother or sister in Christ should be spiritually mature enough to realize this, but it does mean that if you have what your fellow believer needs at your side, then you should give it to him immediately, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” (Prov. 3:27)
There are two sides to every coin, what we have to offer those in need we are to give, and those who are in need must realize that there is more than just one Adam or one Eve to turn to. Whether it be in times that we are experiencing physical pain, or the moments that we are emotionally distraught, we are to seek out the Lord in these times first, never another human being, but He made Eve, He has blessed us with brothers and sisters in Christ, and each and every one of us will give an account (Rom. 14:12) of how we addressed these situations, not only with those whom we sought out first, but how we reacted when we were sought out. You are, my friends, your brother’s keeper.
We are not asked to love, we are commanded to, we have not been given the option of obeying, we are commanded to. Whether you feel adequate to the task or not is immaterial, the Lord is not going to send one of His children to another of His children in these incidences to see how they will handle it, He has prepared you for the responsibility, you may just not know it yet. Far too many times we will shy away from those opportunities, believing ourselves to be incapable of completing the task, unable to speak the words this hurting brother needs to hear, we do not trust that God is Sovereign and knows exactly what He is doing. No one knows how to do anything unless they try to do it, fear of the unknown should not be a deterrent, doubting our capabilities towards what the Lord would have us to do is never an option, He knows what He is doing, we need only to trust.
You’re right, your first answer was supposed to be Jesus, you just left out one of the main equations, we are all representatives of Him, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” (Gal. 2:20) Do not leave out this far too often neglected part of our personal walk with Christ, search for a brother or sister in Christ when these needs arise in your life, be the one they can come to in their most needed moments, be Christ-like in every aspect of your life. “When He shall appear, we shall be like Him” (1 John 3:2) At that moment, how much of you is going to be changed, ten percent or ninety percent? If you are hurting today, seek out a fellow believer, they may be waiting for you, in fact, my guess would be that Christ has prepared them for your visit. If you are the one that is called upon, and if the opportunity has availed itself to you to help your brother in Christ, lay everything aside that you were doing, and be responsible to the calling.
We are speaking of eternal matters here, of matters that will have value forever, the temporal will wait, it will still be there when the task is accomplished. Bring glory to God my friends, praise Him that He has blessed you with someone to turn to, praise Him that He has seen fit in His mercy to be the person that they can turn to, praise Him in both.