For each will have to bear his own load. (Gal.6:5)
Being a little over two years removed from my stroke, I often have people who still inquire about my health. There are also those that know me who will sometimes ask why I walk with a limp. After I tell them that it is a lingering effect of the stroke, the majority who know me will then say, “Oh, yeah. I had forgotten about that.” Now, a major life event like this is not something I will soon (Honestly, never) forget. But, other people can and do forget that I have been through such. Some people may get upset that others could forget something so devastating, but it doesn’t bother me. Two thoughts come to mind when people tell me they have forgotten I suffered a stroke. One, God has been so good to me and provided such remarkable healing that the lingering effects of my stroke are minimal. Those who are not around me often do not see the slight troubles that still remain. When they say they have forgotten, it makes me praise God for how far he has brought me! Two, life goes on. People have to deal with the realities of life. They have their own struggles that can be so overwhelming. While I won’t forget what happened, I have to realize that others will. They don’t forget because they don’t love me, or because they don’t care, or because they are self-absorbed, or because they are indifferent. People have their own trials to deal with. When folks say they have forgotten what I have been through, it makes me want to reach out and help them, because so many have done that for me. I cannot sit back and wallow in pity. Through the comfort and goodness you have brought to my life, I can now comfort and strengthen others (2 Cor.1:3-4). If I ever forget a trial you have faced, I pray it is because God has been so good to you that the effects of the trial are long past. Let’s not be upset with others when they have moved on (and we have not) from an ordeal that has scarred us. Let’s remember that they are bearing their own burdens. Let’s offer them a shoulder to help them hold up under the weight of their trials.
“Father, thank you for bringing us through the trials of life. Thank you for surrounding us with others who help us bear our burdens. May we in turn help them to bear their burdens. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”