Monday, June 30, 2008

Blind Spots and Bearing One Another’s Burdens

During the first week of June, when our family was at Long Hollow Ranch in Oregon, I backed our Jeep into a tree. I was initially puzzled when I felt the vehicle hit something hard and heard the breaking of the taillight – because I had looked in my rear view mirror and in my side view mirror, and had also turned my head and looked out the back window before I backed up. Yet in spite of my caution I hit a tree that was directly in the “blind spot” that is situated in the back corner of the driver’s side of the Jeep. (Here is a picture - in order to drive it home we taped up the shattered taillight as best we could).

This also seems happens to us spiritually at times in life in our constant attempt to follow Jesus in this life. I reflected on this after this past Sunday morning when I shared from Galatians 6:1-5 regarding how God calls us to “bear one another’s burdens.” In this text the apostle Paul is speaking of a believer, a follower of Christ, who for one reason or another has suddenly tripped and fallen into sin - and needs help getting back on his spiritual feet. In Galatians 6:1-2 he writes:

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

How so very often in our walk with the Lord we too “back into” sin issues in our lives that are destructive to us (and to others) because of our own emotional, physical and spiritual “blind spots.” Of course in reading this we tend to think of the “blind spots” we see in others rather than our own – yet God tells us here to “keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” The assumption behind “bear one another’s burdens” is that we all will have our own personal “burdens” of “transgression” at times in this life. Thus the exhortation to “restore” one another ‘in a spirit of gentleness.”

After coming home and praying through what to do next regarding my shattered taillight and dented bumper, I sensed God prodding me to live out the "one another” texts I've been preaching on – and so I sought counsel from a couple of my brothers in Christ at Arrowsmith. Within a week we decided to buy the parts and fix it ourselves. After a few hours the damaged Jeep was like new again.

Thanks to George Koning and Dan Molly for their counsel and help in restoring our vehicle. I am thankful also that in our feeble and weak attempts to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (Colossians 1:10) our most merciful and sovereign God of grace restores us when we humbly seek His forgiveness and help at times when we find our hearts broken and spirits dented by the sins hidden in the “blind spots” of our lives.

After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

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