My husband and I climbed Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago. It only takes a few hours to climb and descend again, but it’s a workout and a half! This is a picture of part of the trail we took, looking back at what we’d just climbed. Rocks everywhere!
This particular rock intrigued me:
This was a large boulder that provided a hand hold for climbers and descenders alike. You can see where the edge of it is darkened from years of oil and dirt buildup, as countless people used it to help themselves along. I saw many such boulders, and even a white birch tree that was blackened from giving people something to hold onto!
We should aim to be like this boulder in several different ways.
First, we need to be assistants!
Do you know someone who is faltering in their journey? Consider how you can provide some stability and strength to them. Encouragement through a call, a card, a chat over coffee? Strive to be a support to them in some tangible way.
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all (1 Thessalonians 5:14 ESV).
Second, we need to be strong.
We are called to help the weak, but that doesn’t mean that we allow ourselves to be drawn into their weakness. Let’s say that someone has asked me to help them by holding them accountable for how they spend their money. If they call me wanting desperately to go to a casino, it wouldn’t be right for me to offer them a ride so I can join them! Then their weakness has drawn me in. Or if someone struggles with gossip, I should not continue listening, nor should I offer any juicy tidbits for them to spread abroad. If I do, I’ve allowed myself to be weakened.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV).
And third, we need to not be afraid to get a little dirty!
Jesus encouraged his disciples to get involved in people’s messes, and promised they would be rewarded.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ Then those righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'” (Matthew 25: 34-40 NLT)
Helping and supporting others is not always easy, comfortable, or neat and tidy. It is often messy business. Are you willing to get a little messy for the good of someone else? Open your eyes and look outside of yourself. There’s a world waiting for the strength you have to offer!