Galatians 6:2, ‘Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.’

As Christians, we are called to carry each other’s burdens, not necessarily carry each other’s emergencies. So don’t let the emergencies of others become yours. Don’t let the storm around you become a storm inside you because panic is a product of a restless heart. As Christians, whatever life brings across our path, we must find enough calm to think clearly and react diligently with the help of the Holy Spirit. That’s why emergency situations are a good indicator of spiritual stability.

What is your natural response to unfavourable news? Jesus Christ refused to be rushed by the emergencies of others. This was demonstrated in His response to the news that Lazarus, His dear friend, was sick. John 11 makes clear that there was a deep emotional connection between Lazarus and Jesus. While the plea of Mary and Martha was intended to elicit an emotional response from Jesus when they said, ‘Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick,’ Jesus paused to seek God’s opinion. Consequently, Jesus stayed two more days in the place where He was.

He paused not because He was sluggish, selfish or self-centred. He was a Man of compassion, not a Man of sympathy. Sympathy often masks itself, pretends to act as compassion, but doesn’t provide real solution. When good intentions meet misguided emotions there is human sympathy. Sympathy responds in the flesh; compassion responds in the spirit. Sympathy carries pressures; compassion carries burdens.

The case of Lazarus did not end in death but to the advancement of God’s glory because Jesus carries our burdens, not our emergencies. 

Prayer: Holy Spirit of peace, when the storms of life whirl around me, help me to respond like Jesus did. Replace the panic within me with a holy relaxation as I pause and seek Your opinion. In Jesus’ name, amen.