One evening, I received tragic news that the beautiful baby involved in one of my hotly contested adoption cases had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Most of the night, all I could think about was what to do help the family endure the slow death of this baby. We had all fought so hard together and come so far—and, it seemed that this baby would be called home just as we were about to win the adoption. It was heartbreaking! After agonizing in prayer, God began to give me peace from His Word. He didn’t give me the answer to “why,” but He reminded me of what Jesus said: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) How do we fulfill the law of Christ?
The Bible says fulfilling the “law of Christ” is loving God and loving others as you love yourself. (Matthew 22:35-40)
As Christians, our love must be real enough that it allows us to feel the pain of others. When we allow them to see us enduring their pain with them—it demonstrates to them that their sorrow and their burden are important to us, and thus, they are important to God. Furthermore, our prayers for them become as sincere as our prayers for our own pain.
Until I’d agonized with this couple, I’d never thought about bearing someone else’s burden like this. I was often cynical and unfeeling to the pain of people around me and would casually say, “I’ll pray for you.” I’m so thankful that God used this experience to teach me empathy, mercy and compassion. He went through suffering for us so we would be spared from eternal suffering. Christ’s suffering and redemption give us eternal hope so that, in Him, we can walk with others through their suffering. By walking with this family through their valley, I was able to experience Christ-likeness that I’d never understood. The more we bear another’s burdens, the more we see and appreciate how Christ bears all of our burdens!
Postscript: This baby was miraculously healed. I often receive a Christmas card from this family and get to see the continued miracle of this young lady’s life.
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