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“Carry each others’ burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ…  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Gal. 6:2, 9-10)”

The Mile Long To-Do List:
     Two weeks ago, I had an insurmountable task list in front of me. Major headings included: “Move your entire family of 6 and their belongings from Gainesville house to new rental in Cumming”, “Finish basement in Cumming house”, “work”, and “be husband and father”.

     I neglected to keep “sleep” on the list and allowed my quiet time to run shallow. On top of that, I had one friend I had factored in as a vital helper to make it all come together that suddenly found himself covered up in new leads, quotes, and more work than he’d had in two quarters this year. Opening up drywall at the new basement exposed far more severe water damage than I’d first imagined and added at least two more solid days to my already endless list of things to do before we could really make the “move”.

HALT?
    Remember Charles Stanley’s acronym “HALT – never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired”? Last weekend I’d already put in 60 hours toward the move/remodel and was hungry, angry, lonely, tired, and still had a page and a half of “incompletes”. But, Sunday, we packed all the toddlers in the Man-van and headed off to church anyway.

The Magic Question or “I Said What?
     We ran into a new couple friend of ours on the way back to the van after service. His wife asked mine how we were doing. Cristine replied “great, Godwilling, if we can get through with this move.” She looked at us and said “Can we be of any help?”

     In reality it was only a 2 second pause. But, in my mind, it seemed like all of the boxes and furniture and childrens’ toys and papers and office equipment were swirling around us in a slow-motion whirlwind as I prepared a humble “No, thank you, though.”

     I spoke.

     I pushed those carefully prepared words out of my mouth with what little energy I had left. But, something odd happened. I heard a voice, identical to my own, blurt out a desperate “YES!!!” Where did my “No, thank you” go?! Did I just say “yes”?!

The Result

Before – concrete floor littered with water-
warped wood paneling. New insulation being added.

     God, who is much smarter than me, had cut me off at the pass. Before I really understood the one word answer that had mysteriously jail-broken from my mouth, her husband was hopping out of their Suburban, (which was loaded with over half a dozen kids), and walking back to our van to help us with the move.

     This morning, because of his help and the unexpected help of two others along the week, I am writing this post from the new Seasons of Life Ministries Worldwide Headquarters, a room in a previously water damaged basement which now has been scrubbed for mold, re-insulated, drywalled, and has brand new carpet in it.

After: Drywall, electrical cut-in, with pad and carpet laid.

     Despite my own pride, the question God keeps asking me to preach to others in discipleship made a near miracle happen in our own home: “How can I help?” The Ryan family had that question heavy on their hearts. Shouldn’t we all? In light of what Christ has done for us – saving us from the law of sin and death, freeing us from slavery to those things we do that always bring us regret, forgiving us every time we call on His name – shouldn’t we all just “carry each others’ burdens”? Shouldn’t we all be on the lookout for burden-carrying opportunities?

Benediction
     May you and I, as disciples of Christ, follow the Master’s lead as He nudges the “magic question” out of our lips. May the Lord give us eyes to see and ears to hear those who are heavily laden with burdens and the opportunities where we can help. May we, in this practice, fulfill the law of Christ.

in Christ,

AP