By Jeff McPheron, Trenton United Methodist Church
It has been said that we should remember to be patient and kind with each other because everyone has difficulties. Some of the difficulties come one at a time, and some of them come in groups. Some we can work through pretty quickly, but others come to linger. Simply moving through a day, and primarily aware of our own needs, we may not know who is successfully enduring and conquering and who is about to be overwhelmed and swept away.
Then there are the differences in what is difficult. Remember in school how some peers could spell anything, and others had great trouble with spelling. Or math? Or science? Or language? Or sports? Or music? When your trouble is in an area that is easy for me, I may not be sympathetic to your difficulty until I think of the area of my difficulty, and remember the struggle it gives me.
What might help is some way to know how to put things in an order that will last. This is where faith comes in. Faith in God connects us to the higher authority who invites all people into relationship. Doing so will reduce the burden of sin, which is something that we are not designed to carry. In relationship with God, we may be disappointed to find that some burdens will continue (such as the one to get along with others, for example).
It is in response to human difficulties that Christ Jesus said in Matthew?s gospel, ?Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest? (11:28). That sounds like relief from sin, a burden lifted. Then he said, ?Take my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart? (11:29). He will be patient and sympathetic. And last he said, ?For my yoke is easy and my burden is light? (11:30). In other words, he is not going to do everything for me. There will still be some things for me to do. The difference is that I will not be alone in enduring them. He will be there to endure together with me. Help is available.