On the Verge of Collapse

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ. –Galatians 6:2

On August 1, 2007, a typical afternoon commute across the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, turned tragic when suddenly and without warning, the bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River below. Thirteen people died and 145 were injured. Frankly, it was amazing so many people whose vehicles plunged into the river survived.

When we think about bridges, the vast majority of us never give a moment’s thought to whether or not they are structurally sound. We simply drive across them. It’s such a matter of trust for us that we don’t even consider the possibility that they might not be safe.

Think of the many people around you everyday, including the people who make up your world of relationships. Some bear the physical scars of life and some don’t. Most of us don’t give a moment’s thought to what is going on in the lives of those around us. Yet, many people bear tremendous emotional and spiritual damage — interior damage that few, if any of us, see. Like an unsound bridge that looks normal, but is critically damaged in places unseen, most appear as though all is well in their lives. Yet, some teeter at the brink of collapse from the wounds that have weakened them.

In the Minneapolis bridge collapse, heroes emerged: People caught on the collapsed bridge and rescue workers who quickly arrived at the scene. These were people who courageously put their own lives at risk to help those caught up in the tragedy. What a great reminder that we, as Christ-followers, are called to be spiritual and emotional rescue workers in the lives of those around us.

In the New Testament book of Jude, we read, “Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy…” (Jude 22-23, NLT)

Today, decide to look below the surface of the lives of people in your world. Chances are, there is someone you know who needs your support. Through your love and care, you can help to prevent someone from suffering collapse.

GOING DEEPER:
1. Who, in your world of relationships, can benefit from your support and care?

2. Specifically, identify a way that you can help carry someone else’s burden today.

FURTHER READING:
Hebrews 3:13; 10:25; 12:14-15; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 1 Thessalonians 2:8

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Jim Liebelt

Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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