Keeping What We Have

December 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Virginia Smith

I recently attended my first “anonymous” meeting to support someone I care about. Never having been involved with a twelve-step program, I was a little intimidated, as was the person I went to support. Though I never realized it, my unconscious attitude toward difficult personal struggles has been “pray for strength, but suffer in silence.” This meeting blew that attitude out of the water.

Eighteen people gathered around a table and talked openly about their addiction. They told how their lives had been destroyed, how their disease took over every waking minute and every ounce of attention. It became the focus of their existence. They spoke of losing jobs and homes and families, of bankruptcies and suicide attempts. I was impressed over and over by how transparent these people were. They held nothing back. Their words were stark, often harsh, and the pictures they painted made me want to weep.

But then every one of them offered something to the newcomers—hope. They’d faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and they overcame. Not by suffering in silence, but by exposing their suffering to God and to each other. A light went on for me when one man said, “I love newcomers to this meeting because one way I can keep what I have is by giving it away.”

I can’t forget those words. What an amazing truth. Jesus taught that whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. The incredible men and women gathered around that table willingly opened their lives and gave to us from their deeply personal experiences and suffering. As they shared, I saw their eyes fix again and again on my loved one, and felt their hope pouring toward him in almost palpable waves. 

The enemy wants us to suffer in silence. But the Bible tells us to bear one another’s burdens. When we do, God can change lives – others’ lives, as well as our own.

PRAYER: Lord, show me a burden I can carry for someone else today.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” Galatians 6:2 KJV.

Today’s devotion is by Virginia Smith, the author of over a dozen novels including Stuck in the Middle, which was a finalist for the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award, and the upcoming Third Time’s a Charm. Learn more about Ginny and her books at www.VirginiaSmith.org.

About Virginia Smith

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