"Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it" (Ezra 10:4).
So many days we want to give in and give up! We have such a difficult time believing that God and our loyal friends support us. On the other hand, matters in another's hands means our support and loyalty and love to that person. We may be just the one to hold up heart and hands of someone in need: "Aaron and Hur held [Moses'] hands up -- one on one side, one on the other -- so that his hands remained steady..." (Exodus 17:12).
"That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain..." (Exodus 18:22c); "They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone" (Numbers 11:17c). Pride often says no to help but here God helps us to bear by telling us to share. Often just a listening (h)ear(t) lifts the load off the heart and mind of another.
"Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus..." (Mark 2:4). Here the paralytic's friends demonstrated the faith that moves a friend through a mountain of difficulties and discouragements. This is the kind of love and support we all need at times, both to give and to receive. This man's friends had courage and faith to do the unthinkable. We, too, may need to make an opening for someone we love, or perhaps someone we don’t love.
"He went to him and bandaged his wounds..." (Luke 10:34). Perhaps our friend has a heart wound that needs our compassion and heart muscles that need strengthening so he or she can go on with duties. We can bandage and bolster with an unconditional love that understands. We each have our tasks to fulfill, but at times the tasks seem overwhelming; it is then that God grants a gift of a faithful friend who can talk it through with us. Courage and encouragement, operation and cooperation are within this sage advice. God raises up men and women to sustain the burdens for us all, and it is the group's duty to be with the person in heart and mind. The leader, whether minister, captain, manager, employer -- whatever -- has the duty to be courageous and to operate on the needs; it is for the rest of us to cooperate and encourage so the person in charge may be successful for us all. We make or break each other.
Father, help us to be aisles, not isles!