When the women in our newly formed Bible study faced a series of tragedies, we suddenly found ourselves sharing deeply personal experiences. Facing the loss of a father, the pain of a wedding anniversary after divorce, the birth of a child who was completely deaf, the experience of racing to bring a child to the emergency room—it was too much for anyone to carry alone. Each person’s vulnerability led to more transparency. We cried and prayed together, and what started as a group of strangers became a group of close friends in a matter of weeks.
As part of the church body, believers in Jesus are able to come alongside people in their suffering in a deep and personal way. The relational ties that bind together brothers and sisters in Christ aren’t dependent on the length of time we’ve known each other or the things we have in common. Instead, we do what Paul calls “[carrying] each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). Relying on God’s strength, we listen, we empathize, we help where we can, and we pray. We can look for ways to “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (v. 10). Paul says that when we do so, we fulfill the law of Christ (v. 2): to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. The burdens of life can be heavy, but He’s given us our church family to lighten the load.